Getting the brightness and gamma close to displaying the full spectrum goes a long way towards getting the colors in line. Since colors are mathematical, it can't hurt to try to get as close as possible.
If you search for "monitor calibration (online, tool)" you'll find a lot of links to pages to test shades of grey for instance. Adjusting brightness and gamma until you can differentiate between, say, 256 slots is a good start.
As for calibrating color for monitor/print compatability: If you have advanced output devices (printers), most of them will leave one or more profiles in the system's color directory. But, again, these are for getting the monitor as close as possible to print output.
Under WIN-XP you can select:
and select from available (.icm / .icc) profiles