Re: avatar image link address
It looks to me like the link (only) is stored in the variable
$src in the file bb-includes/functions.bb-pluggable.php line 928.
$avatar = '<img alt="" src="' . $src . '" class="' . $class . '" style="height:' . $size . 'px; width:' . $size . 'px;" />';
So, being that it’s in functions.bb-pluggable.php, I’d say you could probably come up with a plugin to return $src instead of $avatar, but I am unsure of how to do that right now. It’s available, we just need to figure out how to return it for you.