tedster - 11:52 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0) jamsy -
It's been a long time since I saw a problem with the home page because of a missing slash. Google never intentionally banned or penalized a site for any of this - but these server configurations send out confusing signals to the algorithm. SEO involves more than on-page and off-page factors; it also involves configuring your server in a technically sound fashion. If you don't do this, and your technical oversights end up imitating a spammer profile, you can have troubles.
The sitemaps might speed the process. Glad you found that problem. Incorrect custom error pages can be like a ticking time bomb.