So many results on avatars that I gave up searching. Many of my "fringe" users don't bother uploading an avatar. What changes would be required to display no avatar in the userbit for these non avatar users? Thus the avatar_holder would disappear and only the user_text and extra_user_info would show.
Why not just replace the defaults with something that LOOKS empty? You can shorten up the spacing if it's a matter of saving room on the page. Mine looks like enclosed (member is default), but it could be set to a background color or anything else.
You are right if an empty avatar field is OK. I could use a different default image as you suggest.
I would like to see how it would function with the avatar area gone (text would be at the top).
I suspect the change I'm looking for would need a conditional statement to determine that there is no user avatar loaded.