gparted is really good to format hard disks and make partitions and so on, but if I have a *non-formatted* usb stick and plug it into my system, the system usually does nothing at all! And thats the field for gnome-format! It’s easy to use, simple and small. For bigger tasks such as making partitions there is gparted!
You can download the source from here, or if you have Ubuntu, the gnome-format package is already in the universe repository (Jaunty), so all you have to do is:
sudo apt-get install gnome-format