I'm running an ecommerce site with about 100 products. I am currently matching the titles exactly to the product, after researching what the most common term would be used to find it. This mostly gives a title of "keyword1 keyword2"
This is doing o.k for some of the less popular stuff, which appears on the top page of search results.
I am considering changing the titles to something like "Buy keyword1 keyword2 - Handmade Widgets"
I am a bit concerned if I use the same title on every page, with just the keywords changing, if that could be interpretted as duplicate content?
The reasons for the change is I don't feel the current titles are very appealing for people looking through search results. I also think I would start ranking higher for my main keypharse 'Handmade Widgets'.
My company provides a number of software products that we have created, and our title tags all have a standard sort of formula they follow since the product names are all pretty similar with only changes in the specific type of product which ends up being the keywords and phrases.
Run your site through Google webmaster tools and use their duplicate content tool. I ran my site through that and the only duplicate title tags to come up where not my product pages, but instead newsletters that someone before me had been lazy on and just named "newsletter".
I think you'll be okay. The main point after getting those most important keywords in there is making sure it looks natural and relevant to what your customers are searching for.