How about the "Corpus of Contemporary American English" (www.americancorpus.org)?
It's at 370+ million words already, and it is recent. Currently it has texts through Dec 2007, and will be current up through June 30, 2008 in about one week (when it will be at 380+ million words). It is balanced (for each year, and therefore overall, as well) between spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspaper, and academic (cf. to the very newspaper-centric BoE). It also has a very robust architecture, with many different types of searches (including full collocates searching, B.L., as well as one-click comparisons of collocates between different words or between different genres).
And it's free.
============================================ Mark Davies Professor of (Corpus) Linguistics Brigham Young University (phone) 801-422-9168 / (fax) 801-422-0906 Web: davies-linguistics.byu.edu
** Corpus design and use // Linguistic databases ** ** Historical linguistics // Language variation ** ** English, Spanish, and Portuguese ** ============================================