First of all, it depends on what music you want to play. If you want to play like satriani, or allan holdsworth, dont worry about the picking.
However, if you're like me and you want to be able to pick fast runs, theres no trick, just get a metronome, and practice. A metronome is incredibly useful, doesn't have to be a very fancy one, I got a seiko for about 20 bucks before tax. Key is to develop good technique at low speeds, very low, and once you are playing every note completely clean, and you're playing well enough that you'd show it to others, then and only then do you speed it up. A lot of people play hard passages and make minor mistakes and say "well that's ok, its tough to play." It's much better to play it slow and right, because if you're playing right, then you'll get better and better at it and be able to play it faster. If you're playing wrong, you'll always be hampered by whatever it is that's screwing you up, and the longer you play something with a mistake, the harder it is to unlearn.
Hmm, what else. Oh yeah, if you're practicing picking, NEVER practice with distortion. That's about the best way to develop technical flaws without noticing it, distortion hides mistakes, and that's bad for practicing. Also, you might try angling the pick, as opposed to having it totally parallel to the strings, it helps for some people, I know Eric Johnson does it.
Again, never play something faster than you can play it perfectly. I know people who play fast and it doesn't sound terrible, but it doesn't sound too professional because they're playing a bit sloppy, and its very hard to fix that because it's usually drilled into your fingers with lots of wrong practice.