The Google Books metadata controversy resurfaced recently in a Salon article by Laura Miller, The trouble with Google Books.
I focused a lot on this issue last year. It's fascinating to watch non-librarians, in this case UC-Berkeley professor Geoffrey Nunberg, arguing and explaining the importance of bibliographic metadata. Every cataloger/metadata librarian who wants to feel good about what they do should read this article.
One of my takeaways from the Google Books metadata "mess" is that full-text searching is not a substitute for accurate metadata. If it was, Google would not be spending any time or energy creating or providing metadata for Google Book Search.
It seems we need both full-text searching and metadata working in unison for optimal discovery of digital resources.