I'm particularly fond of ACDsee 2, which I find is a very fast organizer and viewer of photos.
My "system" is merely to save each shooting session in a separate folder with a sequence number, descriptive title and a date.
E.g. "122. Crescent Beach with dogs 22.05.2008". The ones I like the best go into a sub-folder called "Best Picks" and there's usually only a handful at best from each shooting session.
It's chronological and the titles have so far been enough to spark my memory.
ACDsee has the full gamut of meta-data and rating, but I find that I don't have the time to tag each image. It is also a full RAW image processor.