This is going to be a very short one . Primarily a LOTD [ Link of the Day] post.
Do take a look at this link http://makingitbigcareers.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/avoding-software-project-overruns-watch-the-ratio/ for a simple guide for estimating software development effort.
For those not willing to brave another mouse click. The following is a summary of it
Coding Estimate = Ask your developer to give his best estimate for pure coding effort
Design and spec = 2 x coding estimate
Function and integration test = 1.5 x coding estimate
System test = 1.5 x coding estimate
Its interesting i stumbled on this link, because the previous day was spent trying to get effort estimation for a project from a team, who previously had not interacted with me.