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I would often hear from frustrated Lightroom 1 users who wanted to control the resolution setting of the copies Lightroom sends to the external editors. Unfortunately Lightroom 1 always defaults to 240, and you can't change it until you get into Photoshop.
Now, in Lightroom 2, there is a resolution field added to the External Editing preferences tab that allows you to configure whatever value you want Lightroom to use when it creates copies to send to your external editor.