I think "above the fold" is the same as it has always been, the space on the web page where content is visible without having to scroll down. One difference today compared with years ago is more variation in user screen resolution, so the fold is located in a different place for your users.
I attended a seminar years ago put on by UIE (UIE.com) and they provided very convincing evidence from their research that users will scroll to view content below the fold provided the content above the fold is considered relevant or important to their purpose for being on that page. Since then, I have seen this discussion break off into 2 topics: design and content. Both are important, and ignoring one or the other can result in a page where users will not see content below the fold.
Yes, it is important to have your most important information above the fold but it is not necessary to have the entire site above the fold in my opinion. As long as the user can tell that there is more content below the fold they will look pending that the information above the fold pertains to them. Graphically speaking I feel it is important to imply to the user that the site continues past the fold. Usually I try to place important headers, sectional titles above the fold so that the user can tell what the information is past the fold. @Jessica I agree with you completely, architecture and design take a higher precedent but it is important to make sure your primary navigation is above or at least begins above the fold.
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