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What are the disadvantages of merged mining? I'm very interested in p2pool and since I have to "run my own server" I've been considering enabling merged mining.

Besides the obvious administration overhead and learning (which I chalk up to being a hobby), what disadvantages are there? I wouldn't be reducing my BTC hashrate would I?

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The disadvantage of merged mining is the additional coin daemons you have to run in the background. They all use disk space, memory, cpu cycles and bandwidth. A more annoying issue is that most of them are no longer maintained and have bugs. You may find that they crash frequently - at least namecoind does.

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