Re: Unread Topics
You should consider just tracking what the last time was each user viewed a topic. That will reduce the number of entries in your table to a maximum of one entry for each user on each topic, rather than one entry for each user on each post.
As for the delay in getting plugin “approval”, you aren’t alone. I’ve waited a while at times and had to poke for it to get done, approval is less about the question of “is your code good enough” and more about weeding out spam/bozos etc. Also, from what I understand mdawaffe is pretty much the only developer doing significant work on bbPress at Automattic and he has other responsibilities there as well (including maintaining the WordPress plugin browser).
The community here is growing, but small, and the few people who are regular contributors to this forum are really quite helpful, enthusiastic and generally pretty knowledgeable. I hope you feel more welcome as you get to know us and become more involved.