Favorite ways to calibrate a monitor?

What's everyone's favorite way to calibrate their new monitor? Using the application provided by windows or do you have any special 3rd party software that does it better? Thanks in advance

I use lutcurve to make my two monitors look as similar as possible.

I would prefer to have a hardware calibrator because of my OCD, but there's no reason to, as I don't do any work that requires accurate color reproduction.

Well I suppose lutcurve is just a software solution so that won't work. You can't calibrate "by eye". Your eyes will always see the colors in relation to the ambient light situation.

Therefore you have to do that with a hardware tool if you want to have correct, reliable colours on your screen. My favourite tool which I use since 2 years is the Spyder4Pro. Not too expensive and doing a good job, it also compensates the ambient light for the right contrast.

i just use the calibration software tests that come with one of my blu rays... BBC planet earth or something...

Of course it will never be as good as hardware calibrator, but it's generally enough if you just want several monitors to look similar. As in, even monitors of the same model can have white point look so different that any non-blind person would want to use some software to correct it.