However, this can pose some problems. About four years ago, my college housemate ran into this problem. She needed her campus network password to access her free printing from the university library. Unfortunately, she had set her computer to automatically save her password, and consequently forgot her password! She called the campus network guys and they told her they couldn't reset her password unless she had her old one. So no matter what, she had to get that old password. I was the resident computer geek in the house, so she asked me to help. I didn't really have a solution. But I did a bit of research on it, and came up with a little known program called Asterisk Key.
Asterisk Key is a very small freeware program that will let you turn those asterisks back into the actual password. It's very simple. Download it and install. Simply run the program that you need to recover the password from or open the webpage with your saved login (unfortunately, it only works on webpages in IE). Then run the asterisk key program. Click recover and it will scan those asterisks and spit out your actual password. Problem solved.
This is a useful program to have on your computer only if you only ever end up using it once. I keep it around for emergencies myself, and have had occasion to use it once or twice. Get it before it disappears!