For all my cursing of iPhoto 2 through 4, I don't think I ever lost data in a crash. Not so with iPhoto 5. I lost 20 minutes of edits when it locked up with the spinning pizza of death. I think they've changed when the metadata is saved to disk. I can't see a way to force a save other than exiting the app.
I'd like to contribute to a one way ticket to Tierra del Fuego for the entire iPhoto engineering and product management team.
Apparently I'm not the only victim: iPhoto Needs A Save Album Function