So you have to work with metadata? Or you love paperwork, or you just hate using the Python XML packages? Give hermes a try. It is named after And inspired by Hermes Conrad from Futurama.
It is a simple set of tools to translate the Xml to a Python dictionary.
Check it out here: http://github.com/Esri/hermes
Fork it, follow it, improve it.
I'll be posting a couple of usage examples over the next few weeks.
I look forward to everyone's feedback.