I've been using Inkscape to generate PNG's from various SVG files. This works fine for larger images, but for smaller images (like icons), bitmaps appear grainy and extremely anti-aliased at the edges. Is there a better tool - one that can generate crisp edges, even at low resolutions? Mac or Linux, freeware or commercial (hopefully not too commercial) would do.
The issue is the resolution you are trying to export as. A low resolution image, such as an icon, simply doesn't have a whole lot of pixels to work with.
Typically, icons are either tweaked by hand, or drawn by hand in a raster format from the start. Software just can't make the aesthetic calls on a level like that.
That said, though not SVG based, you could use something like Fireworks which has robust vector tools, but lets you live-preview the raster version. That would get you a bit closer to what you are trying to achieve.
Heres a crash course in pixel hinting, you can use this technique in any vector app that gives you a pixel preview of your work.
It does require manual manipulation of your vector file.