I am planning on submitting a paper to a journal. Is it acceptable and advisable to upload it to my web page for public consumption, in the mean time?
I varies with fields and journals.
Some journals do allows posting preprints on one's webpage, or on a preprint server.
Some not, but they don't care. (And some academicians do put their papers on their websites, even if it is against rules.)
Some don't allow and do care, so putting the preprint on your webpage may disqualify you from publishing this work.
(If it fits your discipline, why not using http://arxiv.org/?)