I have had great success with the wire wheel on the bech grinder. It's certainly cheap and effective, but a little time-consuming. It'll pull off paint, rust, goo, whatever. Be sure to use pliers, etc. to hold 'em, unless you don't like your fingerprints. They get hot, thus the slow typing.
i use a wire wheel a LOT. every fastener on my RD has been through the wire wheel...and under the work table, and across the shop, and...oh yeah, i dont have complete finger prints at the moment either. blasting and plating is your best bet for a perfect finish though
weekday - Rock Tumbler. I inherited this from my brother when he out grew it. Every yard sale I have been to has one. They are cheap and with the right medium the bolts come out spotless. Set it before I go to work, come home from work and check on it.
eastwood and some of the other supply companies sell home plating kits for everything from cad to chrome. solves the rusting fastner issue.
I have a buddy who is a big gun freak and he has a home parkerizing kit setup in his house all the time. Any blasted steel fastners I just bring to him to be parkerized (gun bluing). doesn't work for aluminum