Re: Good model plugin for newbie plugin author to study?
There are lots of built-in functions for querying the topic meta, they are all in the same place in the code, so searching in the code for the functions I mentioned above will reveal them all.
Joining tables to create one query is better than using two queries to retrieve the same data. The new BB_Query class could easily handle the query you wrote up there.
By the way, I suggest you build your plugin against the latest trunk rather than the latest release.