1) I agree with you on Dust. At least the ideas were cool enough to make me want to read more of Bear's work.
2) Would you mind friending me at the LiveJournal for the Ravenflower series? My username there (just in case you forgot) is lion_volant. I have a lot of downtime at work these days and I have a hankering to re-read the Ravenflower series. I thought I had access to it through my current LiveJournal but I don't, so I must have read them before on the journal I kept previously.