To answer your first question about tag stripping. See:
http://www.digitalgenesis.com/support/p ... .php?p=109
As for whole word matches... there isn't an easy way to do that. DGS Search is coded as a sub-string search. If you need whole word matching, you would need to modify dgssearch/libs/search/fs.php or dgssearch/libs/search/db.php depending on if you are searching the filesystem or the database.