I followed a link posted by Ann Launay at the SL Forums- now, anyone who has seen Ann's pics knows the epitome of femme avi beauty! So, it was great of her to share one of the secrets to her amazing pictures. She pointed us to: http://secondsoigne.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/optimising-windlight-for-avatars-20/ I followed the easy instructions and the difference is just WOW!
The Second one on the bottom is AFTER the optimizing, the one on the top is the default at the current time settings, with out pushing to Midday. No additional tweaking not even cropping done to the images.