I'm just getting used to the D7000 and haven't fully developed a consistent 'method' yet in terms of how to meter.
I like to shoot in Aperture Priority, spot meter a specific region (usually a highlight), then lock the exposure using Fn button (programmed to AE-L), focus on subject, compose the picture and shoot the frame. It seems a little convoluted but I like the results I get this way. The image on the camera LCD and in Lightroom seem to reflect what I actually saw with the naked eye. However, the histogram looks skewed to the right.
When I go for a more automatic approach using auto-matrix metering the results can look a little over-exposed (washed out). But the histogram looks great - i.e. more data has been captured.
Here's a couple of example pics with histograms to illustrate my point. I prefer the darker image because I think that's closer to what I saw with the naked eye.
I'd be really interested in hearing your opinions on this and/or how your preferred metering method?