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Extracting .gz files and placing the output in another directory in one command line is convenient thing.
I just followed some how-to to install Nagios on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx but they give the method to install from archives. I wished to install from the repository. If you do so some files are missing. I've not tested yet but this is an example command line I did to extract
sudo sh -c 'gunzip -c /usr/share/doc/nagios3-common/examples/template-object/templates.cfg.gz > /etc/nagios3/objects/templates.cfg'
We need privilege to write the destination file.