Hmm. OK, if it is on never, then it is never managed and the user has to manage the sync settings. That is what I would check: user logged in, select Mobility Account Preferences from the sync menu, and in users and groups, select mobile settings and confirm what the user has set to sync.
Should look something like (this is a snow leopard client):
The other thing is if the user is set to never in WGM, is the user part of a group and what is it set to? I think although the user is set to never, it will not override the group setting in that case.
I was unable to change these options on the client side in Lion Client machines. No matter what I selected "Home folder" or "Only selected folders"....the folders in the window remained unclickable/grayed out.
Should these network mobile accounts be first created on a Snow Leopard client?
Could this be the issue?
Actually, it worked better in Lion. Here is what it appeared to be to me -
In SL client, both the user and the user group had to be set to "Never manage home sync" in order to avoid that grayed out thing. It seemed the group overrode the user setting. I know not supposed to. And maybe I was not careful enough. But seemed that way.
In Lion, if the user is set to once and login/logout/manually and merge with user settings, that seems to be the case - the user can manage the settings as far as how often and what folders.
So I started turning on some things each thing at a time. Instead of Never...I would turn one thing on. Login on a client machine. Change a pref..like the desktop background and duplicate the Stacks.pdf file in the document folder..so that when I login to another machine...and showing a successful sync..I should have the same desktop background..and the duplicated file on the Documents folder.
So now I've logged in/logged out about 20 times based on turning one function on..or changing a pref in the mobility pane....Not one thing has synced. It's as if each user has it's own local folder..even though NOTHING is telling it to create a local folder. All settings point toward the network home folders.
I even tried in "Account Creation" Turned on ALWAYS and at Home Folder Location actually put the full path going back to the network folder.
I feel your pain. But I think you are way overthinking it.
I would step back and start new and simple and see if that works:
1. create a test user group.
2. in mobility preferences for that group, turn things to always (I think a total of 6 "always" settings) and take the defaults except on Account Creation do check "create mobile account" . You could uncheck "ask about making a home folder" or whatever it says, but other things I would be careful to NOT touch.
3. This should give you a group setting of making a home folder on the start up volume and syncing on login/logout/manually/at intervals and syncing ~ and not expiring.
4. Make a user and assign to that group. Don't set any preferences for the user.
5. login as that user and test it out. If that works, then you can see what is different about your setup. If that doesn't work, then I don't think changing any settings will make a difference.
Are you trying to give each user control of sync? I'm at a school and students sync, so we just make them sync. If the above works but you want each user to control their sync, I would then see how to adjust from the above not try to do it at once. Get them syncing first, then see how to give them control.