A few or so weeks ago, we made available version 2 of our DCM (Desired Configuration Management) technology for those running SMS 2003. You can download this here. This version now supports desktop systems as well as servers and comes with a better XML editor to facilitate easier editing of cofiguration templates. It also comes with sample templates ready to use that you can apply against DC's, 2K3 Servers, XP desktops, ISA Servers, SMS Servers, and Exchange Servers. Some templates are more sophisticated than others (The Exchange template is quite extensive).
So I have been playing around with this is my lab. Below are a few screen shots to give you an idea of the type of reports that can be generated by DCM...
This Report show all Out of Compliance items for all of my Windows Server 2003 Systems on my network after applying the default W2k3OS template:
This Report shows all Out of Compliance items for all of my XP Desktops on my network after applying the default XPOS template:
I know many of my customers have used their own scripts to accomplish similar checks on configurations of servers. DCM might be a nice, cleaner, alternative as it leverage the SMS infratructure that might already be there to accomplish the same objectives and quite possibly in a much more accurate and efficient matter!