First off, many thanks to Ulrich for all his hard work and help troubleshooting the recent Avatars release! I just confirmed however, that v. 3.5.2 is conflicting with how SimplePress Forums renders user avatars.
SimplePress Forums (SPF) will show a user's WP avatar next to their forum posts, if they have one. If none has been uploaded, it will next look for the default SPF avatar, then custom avatars from the SPF Avatar Pool, then Gravatar. (Actually, there are more options and you can configure the priority order as you wish.)
After updating to Avatars 3.5.2, however, settings configured from the site's discussion options are over-riding those set in SPF. No SPF default avatars load, ever. Changes made to discussion settings for default avatars take effect – displaying Gravatar, Wavatar, Identicon, etc. – but something is prohibiting the SPF defaults from showing. WP User Avatars show fine, but when none is available a Monster ID will show for that user, if that is what is selected from Site->Settings->Discussions.
With me so far?
I just reverted to Avatars 3.5.1 on our test site, and all Avatars on forum posts are displaying as expected – SPF defaults appear where they should instead of Gravatar, or mystery man, etc. – for any user without a WP Avatar.
So, my questions are... what might I ask in the SPF developer forums to try and start getting these playing nice together? Or could anyone possibly compare the code of 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 to see what difference might cause this behavior? Or, does anyone know if the pending WP 3.1 will offer any sort of site-wide default avatar upload? Wile the latter would suit my needs, it would be really nice to get SPF and Avatars working together.