Okay, I’ve got two new comment plugins working now, one that puts recent comments in the sidebar and one that allows comment notifications by email. I did some hacking of the php script on the latter (to improve layout, however slightly) and haven’t fully tested the whole subscribe/unsubscribe procedure, so please let me know if there are glitches.
Also: behind the scenes, I added the Widget Context plugin. It is a thing of much usefulness and beauty.
WordPress sidebar widgets, while neat and easy, lock you into an everywhere-or-nowhere choice. Widget Context lets you specify locations on a per-widget basis, on the fly. All I’ve done with it thus far is to remove the ‘Recent Entries’ widget from the front page, where it’s redundant, but the capabilities go much farther. All WP bloggers should have this!