stock.xchng has nothing on Flickr for searching, finding, sharing photos, except that they’re uploaded with the express intention of offering them for re-use. Some are available free, others free for non-commercial use, others with their own license terms.
But stock photos aren’t really the bottom of the barrel. No, for that you have to look at pixellogo. It’s there that you’ll see the sorts of things you can do to put some pop in a limp design. Meaning, it would seem, is secondary.
But don’t let any of this criticism suggest I’m not above taking tips from stock houses.