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While I use Cacti, I consider it to be more for historical analysis/trending rather than monitoring.
As to ipfraf, ntop, etc.... I think there needs to be clarification on what we mean by "monitoring". Seeing Nagios, GroundWork, Zenoss, etc. I assume that we're talking about systems that check the "health" of a particular host, service, etc. and take some action (email alert, open a ticket, etc.) based on given thresholds.
I like etherape, mostly for the pretty colours and it has ape in the name which makes me think of monkeys. Also like htop because it's useful, and I like conky on fluxbox. On Xfce I like the simple panel applet System Load Monitor. Mostly the gf does all the monitoring my life can handle.