It's not really the end of the world if you hit the frontpage checkbox instead of the approval one, however.
IMO, if the node is good enough to be approved, then it's good enough for the Monastery Gates
, too. Remember that the front gates are what new users and current users see first when they hit the website. Therefore, all nodes across a wide criteria of selection should be considered for the front page.
This is discussed more in-depth here
, where you will also find the following quote:
It is good practice to only front-page nodes that are well-written/formatted, are not too long (or contain a READMORE tag), or contain information relevant to the Front Gates audience -- often newest. Also keep in mind that, if required, the site janitors can revoke front-page approvals.
There has been a lot of debate on the site about when to front-page nodes and what the appropriate criteria should be. Opinions range from front-paging only nodes with a reputation above $NORM (the average node reputation over the last week) to front-paging everything that is approved if it's length is appropriate (or has been edited to include a READMORE tag). Many monks agree that the front page is what most new visitors to the site see first, so it is therefore important for the nodes on that page to convey a good impression and show what "PerlMonks is all about". For many monks that means interesting questions, for others it is good discussions, and for others it is something else entirely.
My own interpretation of that is simply 'if a node is good enough to be approved, then it's good enough for our monastery gates, too'. And the wider the audience we can keep interest when they hit the front page, the better.