I'm not really that scared of spiders (my sister is, hugely) - they are just kind of...off-putting - so it shouldn't be THAT hard for me to do.
A friend of a friend turned out to have many spiders - ranging from a little spider no bigger than a nail to a huge one that would cover your palm completely. Since we visited him lately for a few drinks, I asked him if I could hold one of his 'babies' and he agreed. Unfortunately it wasn't the biggest one he had, as this one was in an aggressive mood that day, but it was still pretty big. And tell you what - it was kind of cute, really :D I always thought these big spiders are, I don't know, somehow wiry and cold, and overall unpleasant to hold, but this one was soft, even teddy-bear-ish, and very calm. I guess my opinion on these creatures changed a bit :)