More thoughts-ADL is a compromise, at best. Digital cameras have less dynamic range than film. Since the advent of photoshop, opening up the shadows has been something some photographers have wanted to do. I fell into the same trap. Now that I shoot mostly film, I do this less and less with my D300. As stated earlier, it does produce a somewhat noiser image.
I have had wonderful results for portraiture with the D300 using center weighted metering. I love the folks at Nikon, but their description of how matrix metering functions is, as of this day, ambiguous at best. They still haven't revealed, for example, the 1000-plus images for reference that are sampled by the circuit. While it does work fairly well, it can be folled, is certainly not fool-proof, and is not the "end-all" as far as meter modes are concerned.