I've been playing with python matplotlib to try and visualize what's happening on my Linux desktop. I've created a few examples and posted them to a blog
The intent is to create rolling visual summations of a large number of processes across several key attributes.
As part of this work I also created a procfs to CSV extractor that can be used to create CSV suitable for analysis and plotting in oocalc etc. So even if you not interested in matplotlib, the procfs code might be of use for other purposes.
All of the source code is included in the blog postings. Any distribution that has a package for matplotlib would probably be able to run these scripts. If anyone wants to take any of this and move it in other directions, or reimplement using other tools, feel free.