Sorry forgot the versions.
Red Hat 3.0
JBOSS AS 4.0.3 SP1
JBoss Portal 2.2.1
1. User preferences for non-logged-in users are stored in the individual portletsessions.
2. I'm not sure how you're testing the problem with user pref persistence. Could you use the weatherportlet or some portlet we have in common to test this? You can find the RSSNews and Weatherportlet at portletswap.com
I have not tested on ora9, but ora 10gxe.