I am so jealous of everyone who can leave their dog uncrated, and I hope to be able to do the same someday. Mine is crated from about 8am-4pm. Sometimes we can run home for lunch to let him out for 45 min. I am planning to start bike riding in the morning before I leave to help tire him. Right now he just runs around the back yard for a bit while I get ready for work.
My plan is to try to block off a room in the house and try leaving him uncrated in that room. He is still not ready to have free access, although he has gotten better (or I just have everything he could get into put away). I feel such guilt that he is crated, so I really hope eventually he will have free reign.
I also liked David Winners comment in another thread about having an outdoor dog kennel because I think my dog would love to be outside on nice spring days. He is too much of a barker currently, but maybe someday. He does seem to prefer inside when it is hot or cold, so outdoors would only work fall and spring for him.