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Hope that helps.
I'm going to have areas with technical tips and articles to put my page far ahead of the competition as far as becoming an "authority" site.
All I have to say: name one "authority" site with frames (ok, on a off-chance that you know about MSDN library website - name two).
Frames are better left in last century.
Ofcourse engineering says its ok, they don't understand SEO and eCommerce (I've been there). 99% of framed sites I've seen fail simple usabily test for different screen resolutions.
Most of the competitors also seem to go with the frame concept. I can't say I've found many in SERPS to compare framed vs not... you get 8 million+ hits for "widget parts." A lot in the field seem to go with PPC and paid text links... getting to the top of SERPS is a tall mountain indeed. (A lot seem to also be pretty unsophisticated about ecommerce too... I feel like a kid on the way to the candy store :D )
Also, is your goal to get the money page ranked? If so, you could build lots of inbound links with targeted linked text. But once again, overall notbody uses frames who is trying to achieve high ranks.