Currently, S3AFileSystem.getFileStatus(Path f) sends up to 3 requests to S3 when pathToKey(f) = key = "foo/bar" is a directory:
1. HEAD key=foo/bar [continue if not found]
2. HEAD key=foo/bar/ [continue if not found]
3. LIST prefix=foo/bar/ delimiter=/ max-keys=1
My experience (and generally true, I reckon) is that almost all directories are nonempty directories without a "fake directory" file (e.g. "foo/bar/"). Under this condition, request #2 is mostly unhelpful; it only slows down getFileStatus. Therefore, I propose swapping the order of requests #2 and #3. The swapped HEAD request will be skipped in practically all cases.
Furthermore, when key = "foo/bar" is a nonempty directory that contains a "fake directory" file (in addition to actual files), getFileStatus currently returns an S3AFileStatus with isEmptyDirectory=true, which is wrong. Swapping will fix this. The swapped LIST request will use max-keys=2 to determine isEmptyDirectory correctly. (Removing the delimiter from the LIST request should make the logic a little simpler than otherwise.)
Note that key = "foo/bar/" has the same problem with isEmptyDirectory. To fix it, I propose skipping request #1 when key ends with "/". The price is this will, for an empty directory, replace a HEAD request with a LIST request that's generally more taxing on S3.