I found a nasty bug in SMART notebook for Linux. The particular package nwfermi, which is a driver to support 400 series boards, will change your /dev/ permissions. This happened in previous versions of Ubuntu but is much more noticeable in 12.04. It stops gvfs from working.
If you want to reproduce the bug just install the nwfermi package from SMART then ls -la /dev/fuse. You will find it no longer has the “other” permissions. If you mount a samba share via nautilus it will work but not through gvfs. That makes it rather slow and won’t give you a mounted path (~/.gvfs/your_share). This in turn will make the share not work with programs that don’t support a smb file path such as wine.
The solution is to just not to install nwfermi. I had it installed just because I didn’t think it would hurt anything. Well it will.