I've been doing some more research and as far as making the home page usable for search engines, it depends on what the search engine uses. Some of them use the Meta Description tag, others use only the first 250 characters of text within the document-even in comment tags, some use all text except what's in a comment tags, and some will even use text within ALT tags if you have a lot of images, but all of them use the Meta Keywords tag.
I found this page on Infoseek (a.k.a. Go.com) that tells you what they look for: http://www.go.com/Help/help.html?key=HELP_T00404_AddURLtips.
I'm sure each search engine site will have something similar, if you want to research all of them. Yuck!
This is from http://www.stars.com/Location/Meta/Tag.html
"So the best advice seems to be, work very hard on selecting your keywords (e.g. use a thesaurus to find other words people might use; brainstorm with friends and colleagues, etc) and put the most important ones into a carefully crafted paragraph at the start of your HTML document. Put the whole list into a META tag, most important or selective words first. Announce your page or site using one of the multiple submission services such as Entity."
[This message has been edited by Mindy Walker (edited April 10, 2000).]