As for title, from my experience it only helps search engines know what your site is about. Chances are, they already have you for that keyword if you have it a few times in your text. It doesn't help your rank for those words nearly as much as other strategies.
Ohh...I'll argue that.
I've seen a title tag change alone make a HUGE difference. I'd argue that it's one of the absolute most important factors on your page for some engines. (Note that I said ON your page.)
Back to the great point made about ALT text...even beyond search engines, consider the issue of accessibility. There are actually people out there that are blind.
And they do actually use accessible web browsers. that means that when they come to an image, they "hear" the ALT attribute to know what the image is. An ALT attribute stuffed with keywords or the image name or whatever does them no good.
Use the ALT attribute for what it's made for...to describe the image for folks that can't see it.
My own personal pet peeve? People that think SEM doesn't really work.
Yeah...that whole Internet thing is "just a fad" too...