Unless you get a dispenser module add-on, you'll need to silkscreen / screenprint solder paste onto the PCBs. Most PCB stencils are made of stainless steel and last years. Right now we make our stencils out of kapton (polyamide) with a laser cutter
Say you want to make 100 accelerometer boards (using the ADXL335) but you're not keen on buying 2000 pieces that make up a full reel. You could try to go with cut tape (hassle) or you can go with a "digi-reel". This is a service offered by Digikey where they will take a piece of cut tape and add a leader (long piece of 'empty' tape) and footer so that you can mount it on a pick and place. Its kind of brilliant, and costs only $7 on top of parts cost. You can also make your own, of course, by saving old tape.
Test your parts placement by laying down double-sided sticky tape onto a PCB. It'll keep the parts in place without the mess of paste
Use the biggest nozzle you can to pick up parts. The bigger the nozzle, the less slipping you'll get