Providing a good UI for sorting and filtering search results key fundamental to making your long tail work.
Bill Scott (Director of UI Engineering at Netflix) wrote a post on this yesterday with lots of video clips and screen grabs. Nice post Bill! (& good comments too)
Also check out Theresa Neil’s post on The Ultra Rich Search Experience.
It’s a bit of a wild-west situation at the moment, with designers experimenting with lots of different design patterns, and users gradually learning about the “search, then progressively refine” interaction style. This is bound to change over the coming months.