I had my first run-in with the PDH (Perf Data Helper) API today. It's nice ... easy to use, gets perf data faster than a WMI query would, and it does so without any surrogate processes (WmiPrsSE.EXE). You can see a list of what info is available with this command (typeperf.exe is a Windows utility in System32). Here, there are 1779 counters.
TYPEPERF will also query counters, even monitor them, but not in a particularly nice format.
A generic @PERFDATA plugin would be easy. The user would have to provide the name of the counter (exactly as TYPEPERF -Q displays it). Also possible is a (small) number of internal variables ( _VAR ) that target specific counters of interest.
v:\> typeperf "\System\System Up Time" -sc 1 "(PDH-CSV 4.0)","\\ZZ\System\System Up Time" "07/15/2014 22:21:56.714","1669114.973423" The command completed successfully.