So, for the thousands using WP as CMS, a typical approach is that of using the 'A Static Page' option from the Settings > Reading admin page.
However, I'm in a different scenario: our front page is displaying static content (home.php template drives that), and we have a secondary static page (called News) which should display the list of most recent posts (what you usually find on an average blog's front page).
I set up the News page to use a custom template (page-NewsIndex.php); based on TwentyTen's archive.php template, this file displays a header, calls rewind_posts() and then calls get_template_part('loop', 'newsindex') so that we end up in loop.php (or loop-newsindex.php, if it exists). Peachy.
Loop.php has your typical loop structure (again, based on TwentyTen's loop.php template - tweaked to simplify since we don't need 3 type of loops):
<?php while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
However, when we access the page, this loop seems to use the current URL to determine the posts to display, as if the News page was defining a category - which is not the case for us. What would be the appropriate query_posts for me to use to simulate the query_posts that WP usually runs for you when you get to the front-page of a typical blog?