I agree that one should stay in manual mode. Once i got used to it, i cant ever think going back to auto modes. some advice i would give you is when you meter, put the lens into manual focus and adjust the focus ring to its minimum focusing distance. This will blur out your view finder and make metering so much easier. if you dont want blown out highlights, meter the brightest part of the view finder at around 2. this method works best on indoors situations where contrast is low (if you dont do something foolish like metering light bulb and then wonder why the rest of your image is black). If outdoors you may need flash for that metering method depending on the time of day or the composition of your image.