Google Maps API is a beast that's very easy to handle. I whipped si.blogs map together in no time, the majority of work went into collection the geocodes from sites. (not to brag, but the initial design of the site made it very simple to add this feature) The only real problem I encountered was Internet Explorer crashing badly with "Operation Aborted" error when displaying the map but everything worked smoothly in Firefox and Safari. Nasty bug with very little room for debugging.
After some Google Grouping it turned out that IE doesn't allow changing HTML tables via DOM until they are fully rendered. And since Google Maps code does just that the solution was to move the <script> to the end of the HTML while leaving the map <div> in the place where I wanted the map.