I'll try out the spot focussing. Up till now on both my FZ18 and FZ 35 I've always used 1-areas high speed, and it seems very reliable. I think it's got a bit of a "fudge factor" built-in, so if I'm in a bit of a hurry eg people photos, I don't have to be so careful to get the small spot in exactly the right place.
Spot metering is...interesting, but not really useful except in certain extreme situations. Although it can even be a bit artistic if you are looking for extreme under or over exposure without using Ev comp.
Thanks Mark for the heads up on BIF too - TYVM!