Losing current_user after respond_to do - what gives?

Background
Devise 1.0.11 Rails 2.3.8 added ldap authentication strategy - double login required / losing Devise current_user
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/plataformatec-devise/8NtIjc-LIqU

Latest:

Using the Ruby debugger

With debugger I can see the current_user here right before we send if off with a respond_to_do to the index view

(rdb:437) method iv current_user
@attributes
= {“encrypted_password”=>"", “created_at”=>“2011-11-16 00:49:31”,
“confirmation_sent_at”=>nil, “last_sign_in_ip”=>“192.168.5.
1”,
“updated_at”=>“2011-11-18 01:09:32”, “creator”=>nil, “last_sign_in_at”=>“2011-11-18 00:58:57”, “id”=>“29”, “sign_in_count”=>“29”, “lastname”=>“xxxxxx”, “password_salt”=>"", “reset_password_token”=>nil, “remember_token”=>nil, “current_sign_in_ip”=>“192.168.5.1”, “firstname”=>“xxxxl”, “confirmation_token”=>nil, “remember_created_at”=>nil, “current_sign_in_at”=>“2011-11-18 01:09:32”, “shortlast”=>nil, “login”=>“xxxxxx”, “email”=>“xxxxxxxxx”, “confirmed_at”=>nil}
@attributes_cache = {}
(rdb:437) l

respond_to do |format|
  format.html # index.html.erb
  format.xml  { render :xml => @workbenches }
end

Any
idea what could cause it to be blank when the partial in the view attempts to reference it? Again this worked fine with database_authenticate??

<% if user_signed_in? %>
Signed in as <%= [current_user.firstname, current_user.lastname].join(" ") %>

Is the current_user method set in the controller to be a helper_method?