This function returns the values of the custom fields with the specified key from the specified post. It is a wrapper for get_metadata('post'). To return all of the custom fields, see get_post_custom(). See also update_post_meta(), delete_post_meta() and add_post_meta().
I have a custom post type for a real estate site, and the theme displays 9 properties in a grid on the home page. I don't think its written terribly efficiently - I'm getting about 160 queries on the ...