A little Googling tells me that it often hogs CPU, and writes a lot of (worthless?) data to disc. In my own experience it simply consumes about 15%-20% CPU and offers me no benefits I can see. I've been killing the process whenever I see it come up, and I don't notice any negative effects.
What is gvfsd-metadata? What does it do? Do I need it, or can I disable it? Can I prevent it from becoming a CPU/memory/disc space hog?
I did see someone mention gvfsd-metadata along with Nautilus. If this becomes an issue, should I just change my file manager?