I am wondering if that might now be considered over optimization. Would some variation between the two be better?
I'd say varying them would be a sign of "SEO activity", not the other way around. Like I said in my previous post in this thread, it's very common and natural to have the <title> coincide with <h1> , as it is very common and natural to see the same exact text in the anchor of the links to that page (and elsewhere).
If Google is now taking it as a sign of trying to gain the system, they are missing the mark. I'm not saying it's impossible they are wrong, I'm just saying that talks of over-optimization of anchor text may have a merit but not when the anchor phrase is the same as <title> and/or <h1>. Just as it would make no sense to penalize someone for over-optimizing for the word "here" or "read more" or "this site".