Samurize to the rescue!
Using Samurize and a little imagination you can build a very slick system status display that will make your friends turn green with envy! The configuration I use looks like this:
Once you have settled in on a base set of performance counters and how you would like them displayed, CPU-, Memory- and Disk-Usage histograms are a good place to start, it is easy to expand your configuration to include more items you want to monitor like SQL Server, Network traffic, etc. After creating and selecting your configuration you will want to set the display position to "docked" so the meters are always visible.
Here is a link to download the configuration I currently use.
I will explain how to interpret the different sections of this configuration in future posts.
Update: Replaced configuration file contents with a download link.