Gautam has a nice post on networking - "Networking is not about you". Here are some tidbits from the post.
He quotes Penelope Trunk - "So you can be good at networking by caring about other people. And you can’t fake being interested — it’s almost impossible. That means you have to genuinely care about other people." and goes on to end the post by saying "Yes, it's a paradox, while networking is not about you, how you do it says a lot about who you are"
It's a pity that many people seem to network just to "use" people when the "need" arises. When it ceases to be about yourself and is more about the other person, then I'd prefer to call that friendship rather than networking.
PS: Maybe I am prejudiced by what I've seen so far, so I'll think it over again. :)