Re: email subscription
Nope actually bbPress relay on all notification using feed, You can subscribe a feed in the front page to get all nes post, or add single topics to your personal feed usign the link at the top of the post page named: Add this topic to your favorites (?) and then subscribe it to follow a series of discussion. The feed can be find in your profile page under the favorites section.
An email subscription could be managed through a plugin like in WP.