pageoneresults - 3:03 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
It's my site and it's my title and I'm not going to change it for everyone or how it displays in the browser, because that's part of branding, and it's important, imo.
You are correct, you make the choices which influence the final outcome here.
Its common knowledge that the title and meta description are probably the two most important elements one can optimize for the searcher. We know that the title element is the core starting point for the on-page algo stuff. The meta description, while claimed to not be used by Google, is by far one of the more visible areas that you have control over. If it contains the queries you are targeting and is properly written, Google will typically "always" show your title and description over anything it may guess at.
Seriously, those two elements can make or break a site. Your 8 character branded title is going to be abused by Google's algo and maybe others once they catch up. And, that 71 character description probably isn't all that it could be. ;)
Google: Changing your site's title and description in search results