So, if I owned a nightclub, I could use my splash page to feature upcoming performers and the dates of their appearances. A restaurant site could showcase specials. A television site could give me a shot of a scene from tonight's viewings.
Hey, nice wheel motion there, Bill.
For this type of splash page to be effective, it should reward return visits in some manner, such as containing useful, interesting, and regularly updated information.
Think even of those 'Tips' windows that you get with some software on startup. Each time you open the window, you get a fresh tip that may help you to discover a feature you'd not used before, or learn a faster way of using the resource. This can translate directly toa lot of sites, and with those great ideas you listed above, there's a lot there to get people thinking about reinventing the splash page for a real use.
Another problem with multiple entry pages is that it is then tough to try to maximize the back-links. The current wisdom is that you should even be trying to get all your back-links pointing to the same name. So standardize on www.abc.com rather than having some back-links pointing to www.abc.com and some pointing to www.abc.com/index.htm
Barry, the man who argues with the weather, rather than dressing to suit it, is pretty much wasting his time. Your traffic is going to arrive at your deep content because that's what they want to do.
Passing and focussing your PageRank is something you control through your navigation, and by providing information for those wanting to link who are willing to take a code sample, or agree to list the whole site rather than a specific article.
However, Barry, think on this. Above (and in other posts elsewhere) you've several times highlighted an article appropriate to the topic and linked to it. Not to your homepage and told people to find it, but linked right to it.
If that's what you yourself do, then accept that people with nothing invested in the site are likely to do the same.
So, you should create the site-structure in such a way that each page links directly to its alternate language counterparts. A french search for "Weekend" and an English search for "weekend" will only return the correct language version if the user knew enough to set the preferences. There will be many occassions, I assure you, where linking the different language pages on the same topic will prove invaluable to you and your users.
This can be as simple as adding a flag icon link to denote the language, and allowing users to find the right language of the exact same content should they accidentally arrive on the wrong version (or want to send a URL to a friend who speaks a different language).
Those links all add up, and help add and spread pagerank throughout your entire site. This turns a minor problem into a seriously powerful technique that offers many advantages.
Hope there's some food for thought in there, because I really believe it would be the best thing you could do for both your users, and your marketing endeavours.