I've used angel code's bitmap font generator quite a bit and though it's very good, I wondered if there would be a way of using the hinting information to provide a better readable result by using hinting to provide differing thickness based on size/pixel coverage.
I imagine any solution would have to use the distance field tech presented in the valve paper on smoothing fonts while maintaining or reducing asset size. (http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=494612) but I haven't found any demos of it being used with hinting information turned on or included in the field gradients in any way.
Another way of looking at this is whether there are any font bitmap generators that will output mipmaps that still maintain their readability in the face of pixel size. I think the lower mip levels would try to guarantee fill and space where it is necessary to maintain readability/topology over maintaining style/form (the point of hinting).
In response to "Is there a reason you can't just render the size you want", the problem lies in the fact that font rasterisers currently don't render in 3D, and hinting information would be important in different amounts due to the pixel density being different along different axes, even differing in importance along the length of a string due to the size reducing over distance. For example, I only want horizontal hinting in a texture that is viewed from the side, and only really want vertical hinting in a font that is viewed from below or above. This isn't meant to be a renderer that tries to render a perfect outline as accurately as possible, as hinting distorts the reality of the font, instead this is meant to be a rendering solution for quite static scenes, but scenes that have 3D transformed and warped text layout. In this case the legibility is important, more important than the accuracy of representation of the polygon shape.