Continuing his February 26, 2009 discussion in regard to on user submitted questions, Matt Cutts addressed the issue of use and over use of H1.

More than one H1 on a page: good or bad? –

Since the algorithms used by Google and other search engines remain closely guarded secrets, discussions such as these tend to operate along the lines of general practice rather than very specific advice. Still, as always, Matt makes some pertinent observations on the question at hand.
With regard to the practice of using and overusing H1 tags to elevate search engine rankings, it is clear that Matt prefers that people avoid mechanistic efforts at keyword stuffing and states flatly that Google discounts overuse of H1 to some degree.

The question is to what degree is this done? Since a keyword appearing in an H1 is rated higher than the same keyword appearing in an ordinary block of text, many SEO operators like the idea of using keyword-intensive H1 as much as possible.

Yet there is obviously a tipping point at which overt H1 usage harms search engine rankings. It seems clear that Matt regards H1 keywording as something akin to hot sauce. A little bit tastes good on a little bit of food and a little bit more might be appropriate for a larger helping on the plate, but pure H1 hot sauce dumped over everything is not going to cut it.