This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
Mark, Yes, that is common. Typically, there is an "administrative" database user. You don't want to create database accounts for every web user. So that database user checks the password table to see if the web user should have access.