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Does it matter how many articles are displayed on the home page? Would it help SEO to have a high number of articles on the home page?
What experience have others had with the number of articles.
Use the "optional excerpt" feature built into wordpress and instead of running full articles on your index page, run just excerpts (use images in them too!).
The end result is some nice, uniform images with descriptive text and a link to the article on your home page and since the optional excerpt shows up only on the index and category pages, you won't have any duplicate issues.
Yahoo! and Google news have been doing this forever now.
Some downsides to be aware of with large numbers of articles on your homepage - The titles of all your home page articles are wrapped in H-tags by default. Your articles won't rank well on their own until they are off the homepage since they are essentially duplicate to the homepage, loads of redundant "comment here" links...
Strongly consider optional excerpts and style them to look any way you want them to. They don't have to be the normal, bland, "blah-blah-blah-read-more..." variety.