This topic is very grand and there has been many discussions here at WebmasterWorld on the issue. I think it would be worth your time if you did a quick search of the site [google.com] and read up on some of the threads on interest.
Google up a search. Look at the description in the results. Now go to the page and view source. If they use a description tag, you will see it's word for word identical.
Using the same title and meta description indeed will only index one of those pages. Most call this a "duplicate content penalty" but if you think about it, Google is trying to make sure one page doesn't flood results, so it only displays one of those results even if they are all very different. By using the same title tag and meta description, in essence you are telling Google all your pages are the same.