Like it or not, size matters.
At least in publishing.
Short stories and novellas will not get you an agent (because publishers can’t sell them).
Think of 75,000 words as the ground floor for salable fiction. More (100K) if you are doing mysteries.
That comes from multiple writer/publisher Web sites and personal advice given to me by a friendly agent and a friendly best-selling author.
Nothing personal. People just don’t buy the short stuff.
So if you write too short, you’re on your own. Otherwise, add plot, description, characterization and get the word count to 75K.
UPDATE (6/10/2014): Chuck Sambuchino over at Writer’s Digest has the definitive piece on word lengths for every type of publication. Check it out here.