There are a number of options/methods available depending on the "look" of the photo you want, and the best thing is to just experiment with different films and developers...or the second best thing is to search flickr for examples other people have shot

Personally I'd much rather shoot pushed TMAX 400 or HP5+ at 1600 than Delta 3200 at 1600, but I like contrasty images with little shadow detail

Also because no one has mentioned your metering query, ill take a stab at it. Basically, use common sense. If only a small part of the image is filled with light, it might fool the matrix model so spot metering would be more appropriate. If the lighting is more or less even across the whole frame, matrix is ok.

Or at least thats how I understand it, please correct me if im spouting nonsense! Does your camera even have spot metering? It also depends how good the matrix metering is to begin with really. I never saw reason to take my old EOS-1n off matrix, partly due to trust, partly due to laziness