The best program that I have ever seen is here, Text to Geometry, fast and no interior lines to clean up.
Register is free, the reward is enormous.
Have you never zoomed into and looked at a stock SHX font closely? There are no curves, it's just a format of short lines, never a good quality in anything except small 2D labels nd such. It's never been a format for anyone needing quality text appearance.
The above link in the other response looks more promising too.
Patchy -- I used netload to load the dll, but the command txt2geom comes back as an unknown command. I've not done much with dotNet addons for Acad, so am unsure what's breaking. Tried in both LDC 2009 and c3d 2011
This machine has dotNet frameworks installed, versions 1.1 , 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2, and 3.5 SP1
Download the attachment, rename its extension from .TXT to .DLL
Command NETLOAD and load the TEXTtoGEOM.DLL
then use Command T2G to run the program.