Interesting that you see this problem - there are unit tests in 2.1.1 that prove that preloading works.
Could you tell me how you create and start your cache? E.g., do you retrieve a started, running cache from the DefaultCacheFactory or do you get an unstarted cache and call create() and start()?
Ugh, that's not pleasant. Our "preload" test seems to have been modified so that it does not test preloading.
Thanks for reporting this. JBCACHE-1358.
Have you tried 2.1.0 or 2.0.0?
I had the problem in 2.1.0 and have not tried 2.0.0.
Anyway it is fixed in trunk and branch 2.1.X now. Will be releasing another CR on 2.2.0 very soon.