A bit of a sidetrack as I was planning to blog with pics on the mod for putting your image above the menu bar (I still don't agree with Heather that her solution works, nyah) so I will get to that, but later.
I did want to mention a couple of things about posting questions about SharePoint (in newsgroups, forums, wherever). First, please read your posts before you click the big send button. I don't know how many times we sit there trying to decipher a request when there's a typo in it. Really. It's quite simple. Proof read your post (being a blog, question on a forum, or an email) and make sure it sounds like it makes sense. Okay, maybe I'm guilty of this on my blog but like I said, there have been more times than I can remember where I've been reading the newsgroups and questions are being thrown about that make absolutely no sense. Relax, take your time, and read your own scribblings before you inject them onto the world. Gonzo journalism is great, but you need to master it before you can fire off posts without editing. Seriously. It will expedite the process of getting an answer if the guy on the other end of the line knows what you're asking.
Next is the big one. Recently there's been a pretty meaty selection of posts and emails with people asking if SharePoint can do this or SharePoint can do that. Some don't even ask if the tool can do it but rather go to the big, dark place of "I have to implement x using SharePoint or I'll get <fired | castrated | exiled | etc.>". Guys (and girls), hate to break it to you but SharePoint is not a shape-shifting, set your phasers on stun, beast from 20,000 fathoms tool that is all things to all people all of the time.
Yeah, drink that in for a minute.
It has custom lists, document libraries, it's web based, can version documents, has security, audiences, single-sign on, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. However it does not: make you dinner; vacuum your living room; teach your 7 year old tennis; play ball with your dog; impregnate your cat; dust your buffet and hutch; talk to your Xbox 360 (well, maybe); or generally do stuff it wasn't designed for. Yeah, it's a great tool and one that is very powerful but you, as an implementer of SharePoint need to know the design boundaries of it and stop ripping it apart to do your bidding. You wouldn't use your light sabre for grating cheese would you? So stop making your SharePoint deployment do crazy things. Yes, it can do it but should it? Probably not.
C'mon people. Give your head a shake. If the answer to your problem isn't already in front of you then maybe it's not something that you should try to do. There's being creative, then there's just bastardizing the tool to make it do something. That's not creative, it's just plain dumb. Does Microsoft Word do a great job of editing information that might be better suited for a spreadsheet? Then use Excel. Use the right tool for the right job.
Custom Web Parts can give you ultimate flexibility, but like anything they're expensive to develop. Yeah, even that 10 line Web Part to hide something on the page is 10 lines you have to feed, maintain, and grow. Update when the next version comes along. Add to version control. Document so when you get hit by a bus the next guy knows what it's used for. And so on. Development is fun but expensive so ask yourself if you can't solve a problem with an OOTB solution maybe adjust your problem (or it's parameters) so that it fits the technology you have to work from.
Web Parts will give you what you need, but at a price and too much of a good thing might be too much on a Web Part Page. 20 Web Parts on a single page, while they're all doing "important stuff" might take 30 seconds or so to render per person (as it's fetching data from all over the planet). Having this as your home page in your organization might just bring down your SharePoint server. Is this a design flaw or a launch problem? It's responsible development that you need to look at holistically and not just from the "I need x to solve my problem" type of approach.
In any case, you can achieve great things with a great tool but like any tool, you need to use it responsibly and with malice aforethought about what you're doing. Before you go off to build the uber-web part that will deliver everything under the sun, ask yourself if you really need it or can you leverage what you already have.
Trust me, you'll be better off in the long run.