It sounds to me like your user is the one who is looking for an issue where there is none.
The bug with the perpage not being kept when changing pages on sort photos is corrected by the line I posted.
It sounds to me like your user is trying to compare features in other areas of the application with features in totally different areas of the application. Features that might be available when viewing an album or category would not exist in different areas.
The sort photos link for a personal album takes you to a simple page that lists photos in a specific album has pagination and a simple perpage box. You can set a specific order of photos or make an album cover that is it. There are none of the display sorting or advanced features one normally finds when viewing an album or category of photos.