testing with httperf...help a noob?

hello there,

ive downloaded and watched the peepcode screencast on httperf. i am now
trying to see how much load my site can handle. quick question, while i
run 1000 connections, while this test is running, and i go surf my site,
is the site response times similar to as if my site is actually having
1000 connections?

also, what does --rate do? does that say for each connection do that

so for 100 connections at a rate of 2, for each connection make 2

thank you!