This is what happens when you list a real address on your domain’s WHOIS record. Especially when it’s a long-established and popular domain like metafilter.com.
Thankfully, Nominet, the non-profit organisation who operates publicly-registered domain names, lets domain owners opt out of providing contact details, provided they are individuals (businesses still have to divulge their addresses). This is what I have done with this and my other domains, and is the main reason why I prefer to use .uk domains instead of generic international domains. If someone was desperate to contact me then simply visiting the web site would allow them to find my email address and any legal matters can be pursued via my host who is listed on the record.
It’s no surprise that Domain Privacy services are popular – I’m sure many that use these services actually have ‘nothing to hide’, as it were, but just don’t want to get bombarded with junk mail.
(It’s interesting to note that one of the letters in Matt Haughey’s junk pile is from Capital One who send us lots of junk mail addressed ‘To the householder’. This is precisely why I will never apply for a Capital One card)
On a related note, a couple of changes to my email mean that I should be getting less spam now. My old student email address has now been de-activated as I’m no longer a student, and I’ve finally closed an email alias that I was using a few years ago in the RSS feeds for this site. RSS 2.0 annoyingly requires an email address when listing the author of an item and so I set up a special alias for this – I’m not using RSS anymore (we’re Atom Enabled, baby!) so I’ve closed the alias since it’s not being used for anything useful.