There's nothing alarming at all about this alarm clock from Verilux, which not only gradually wakes you up with its lamp slowly fading up in the morning, it will do the opposite before you go to sleep, slowly fading out as you do. It has what the company calls a "full range speaker" that sneaks up on you, playing your choice of nature sounds at a steadily-increasing volume, while slowly brightening its lamp at the same time.
Get one in white or graphite for $149.95. This might be nice if you're also needing a lamp, but if you don't, save yourself a hundred bucks with the Progressive Wake Alarm Clock from Hammacher Schlemmer, which not only fades up its internal soft light and plays nature sounds, but heats up aromatherapy beads for a pleasant scent 15 minutes before wakeup time.
Either way, both of these beat that honking alarm that just jangled my nerves once again this morning. Time for a change.