I thought of something....
Would the "recent reviews" sidebar only show recent reviews with photos that were uploaded with that product?
Since I upgraded from 1.0.2 to 2.9.1, all of the last 20 reviews or so have NOT had photos associated with the product that was reviewed.
If it is true that only reviews of products with images are shown in the "last reviews" sidebar, then is it possible to change the script so that a default review image is used with all products that have no image?
This would also improve the index page by including all reviews in the "random products" and other tables with the products that do have an image.