What are everyone's tips for importing photos to make best use of metadata and views?

Let's assume there's no need to be compatible with a photo manager app, but we may be importing lots of duplicates, and while content deduplication is great, I'd like to avoid naming problems too.

Do you bother to rename your photos?

Do you use EXIF metadata as git-annex metadata? Selectively or wholesale, with all the redundant tags in EXIF?

If you do use a photo manager app, do you need to do anything special to make that work?

Thanks for your responses everyone!