In the typical mad-scientist thrills-per-minute that is the Linux way, adding a CPU meter to my desktop involved crafting my own conky configuration file.
As always, building your own is a chore that crops up when you least expect it. But on the other hand, the opportunity for functional and aesthetic work results in something artisnally crafted to exactly meet your own personal needs. Something you can feel a little pride about. An elegant weapon, for a more... civilized age.