Oh, also, logger.debug messages in the controller are not displayed unless an Ajax request is made.
I've seen the latter happen, but only in the console. The debug messages (logger.debug) are written to the development.log every time. I've been using NetBeans (6.0) and in certain circumstances it requires the log to be closed and re-opened to see the updates to the log.
Have you been checking/tailing the log or just checking the console?