I needed to write an iso image to a USB key, and the typical way is with just dd(8), but I wanted a progress bar. A quick google later, and I get:
pv -tpreb isoname | sudo dd of=/dev/sdd bs=1024
Which will write the iso image to the USB stick sdd, and give me a progress bar, tell me how fast it is writing, and give me an eta when finished. Perfect.