Also, the load itself, using a regular insert, does not really take longThat's good. Are we talking about around how much time in average? If around 1 or 2 seconds I wouldn't bother with the inserts since the users might even not notice the blocking duration.
So, if the records are locked at the time of insert...that should help ensure nothing would go wrong with the load, right?Correct, that's the idea for locking the entire table during an INSERT. Btw, the same for DELETE operations.
So would the greater concern be what might happen to the results of a query that might be running at the time of the load?Like I said, if the inserts are running fast I wouldn't bother with this. If you think the impact can be realized by the users then you can change their queries to use WITH NOLOCK hint. What this does is to work with a dirty copy of the table (so won't count the new rows). Depending on the operation they're doing this can have or not impact in their results.