I don't want to be the party pooper, but you could upload a document and choose "replace existing" to modify an existing document without seeing the form.
You may need to attack this from a process perspective. For example, if you have major/minor versions, you only notify people when a major version is published. They have the people making the changes make sure that if they make one of the changes that require people to be notified, they publish a major version. Not fool proof, but as has pointed out, it's going to be hard to determine when a document has been modified. Technically, actually modifying the content in a document, as well as changing the Process Owner is modifying the document, as it's a property of the document.
No... Not yet. I have been tied up with my report production for last month so I have not had a chance to look back into it. I currently have it set to not send an alert if the Process Owner changes with the customer understanding that he should make document edits distinct from metadata edits. I will try and focus ion this again soon.
Another thought: if you can't get around it conditionally within the conditional .. conditions, you could put in a "run if" action in the workflow (with whatever other information needed) and say "If this is true, end workflow."
Not the cleanest approach but it might help if nothing else does..
I don't thin you will be able to tell OOB in a document library if only the metadata changed and not the document itself. What if you have a separate list with the Doc Owner and a document identifier as a primary key (an identifier that won't change). Update the Doc Owner from a separate list and run your workflow there. In the doc library add a lookup to the identifier and choose display the Doc Owner from the additional fields - then create your view(s). I haven't test it... but I think you need to look away from your doc library.
I haven't meant document library item version.
I have meant version (or revision number ) that can be seen in document properties dialog (at least for office documents, which I somehow assumed is your case). these properties can be promoted to document library column - see Document Information Panel and Document Properties in SharePoint Server 2010 (ECM)
I've tried to play a bit with it for a while, but unfortunately haven't manged to promote 'Revision number' property which is automatically incremented with every document save. it worked for a property I created myself or even for another default property 'Revision' which I was able to change within document property panel.
not sure whether I did something wrong or it's restriction of my env or any other reason. it would need further investigation (which I do not have time for )
hopefully it will give you at least an another idea how could you approach to your requirement.
maybe you'll find a way how to get it working for that autoincremented 'Revision number'.
or maybe you could write a small macro that would update some of those properties with every save or check in.
here is my achievement