Magento default sort order

In order to specify the default sort order of the product listing open up your 'catalog.xml' (this is tested in magento 1.4):
                    <block type="catalog/product_list_toolbar" name="product_list_toolbar" template="catalog/product/list/toolbar.phtml">
                        <!-- The following code shows how to set your own pager increments -->
                            <action method="setDefaultListPerPage"><limit>4</limit></action>
                            <action method="setDefaultGridPerPage"><limit>9</limit></action>
                            <action method="addPagerLimit"><mode>list</mode><limit>2</limit></action>
                            <action method="addPagerLimit"><mode>list</mode><limit>4</limit></action>
                            <action method="addPagerLimit"><mode>list</mode><limit>6</limit></action>
                            <action method="addPagerLimit"><mode>list</mode><limit>8</limit></action>
                            <action method="addPagerLimit" translate="label"><mode>list</mode><limit>all</limit><label>All</label></action>
												<!--  set default sort order.. higher number comes first -->
												<action method="setDefaultDirection"><dir>desc</dir></action>
To order products by a specific order, e.g. to order products by the order specified under category listing: set in your admin:
Product listing sort by: Best Value
And for those wondering where 'category products' is... it's located here: /admin/admin/catalog_category/ (under "Category Products" tab, when you click on any category)
Tags: magento