So how are we supposed to know which records should fall in column 1, which in column 2, etc?
The first thing you should learn about SQL is that it is not meant for this type of data massaging. This is a data display and formatting task, and should be handled by your application or reporting software.
If you (or your users) insist on doing this with SQL, look up Pivot queries in SQL Server 2008, or Crosstab Queries in earlier versions.
If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.