Would it be possible to set up some sort of slave install of wordpress for another live install? I mean in a different dir but using the same db (read only for posts) and maybe upload dir.
Testing layouts, I often want to see how it looks with the real posts. I know you can export and import but it's a little bit quirky.
Sharing db sounds risky I know. Perhaps a better way would be some sort of sync plugin for posts, uploads asf. Or how do you test your themes/functionality?