I’m amazed that Helvetica, a rather beautiful font, costs USD$741. I know fonts take a lot of time to make, and generally cost a lot of money (a conversation I had with Keith Packard sometime in 2004 cemented this into my head). Recently, I read in Monocle about Japanese font-maker Morisawa and figured that fonts are truly, really expensive.
Apple ships Helvetica. But as a “dfont” package. Good thing there’s a utility called DfontSplitter (Windows and MacOSX only). It allows you to extract the font as a TTF. But legally, you might not be able to use it for Web Embedding either.
As an aside, I used to generate favicon’s using an image editor. Nowadays, it seems like you might as well just move to the web – one less use for desktop software – use the favicon.ico Generator.