Here are a few best practices for creating good title tags, meaning they help pages rank better for your target keywords, and are inviting to users who see them in the search results so they are more likely to click on them.
1) Use good keywords that are also in the page body. Put your highest priority keywords for each page in the title.
2) Keep it short. About 6-10 words. Some say keep it under 66 characters since that is about what Google shows in its results.
3) Make it unique for every page on your site (at least for all your important pages).
4) Make it resonate with users, since the title tag usually shows in search results. Use keywords that users tend to type in, since search engines bold matching keywords. It does not have to be phrased as a call to action, and can be phrased as a heading or even a list of phrases separated by vertical bars, dashes, etc.
5) Put the most important keywords first in the title. Words towards the front get more weight for rankings.
6) If you want to put your brand name in the title, put it last (see #5 above), especially if your brand name is part of your domain (since then you will tend to rank well for your brand anyway and you want to put weight on more competitive phrases). The exception here might be your home page if you have trouble ranking high for your brand name.
Nice post, John! I'm going to echo to make page titles unique for every page, and make them something that clearly describes what the user will find on that page in five words or less. Do that and those five words are more than likely to be that page's best keywords ;)