Peter, the home page stats may or may not be the in and out ones - depends how people get to your blog in the first place.
For example, a lot of visitors to my blog come in on a page other than the home page, due to search terms. They then visit the home page to go elsewhere, or they may only visit the page they landed on. I read the other day that most of the stats gathering sites do not record a time for visits that are to only one page, even if the visitor stays on that page for 4 minutes (as an example).
I tend to discount my home page visits somewhat, but not entirely, depending on what sitemeter tells me about my entry and exit pages.
You and I both have rather niche markets - your niche is considerably larger than mine, but it is a specific niche nonetheless. You seem to get a healthy number of comments whenever I've popped by (I should do so more often!!).
My blog has passed Birthday Numero Uno and I have no intention of stopping!
My views go up and down like Melbourne's weather, if that is any help to you - for a wonderful 2 weeks I was getting 500 - 600+ a day, now I am back to around the 150 - 200 a day mark, so I can't predict anything. "Sad" articles seem to get more views than "happy" articles, so I'm not sure what that says about the reading public! LOL
My pillar posts still get regular readership, but my target market isn't large, so I can't expect huge numbers.
Have I helped or hindered? LOL