Wilburforce - 8:16 am on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
Do you think it could be something more along the lines of a combination of things
I am certain that it isn't one factor in isolation. It is conceivable that there is a "tipping point", and changing the h1 tag *might* make a difference on its own, whether or not it is the same as Title.
However, having both the same is widespread, generally conforms with W3C advice (see my previous post), and makes obvious sense where both correspond with the subject matter of the page.
Pracitces that are more likeley to incur a penalty might be:
1. Where they do not correspond with the subject matter of the page;
2. Where they are used for keyword stuffing.
I am as sure as I can be, however, that identity on its own is not a penalty factor. I have several pages still at #1 for the phrase in Title and h1.