You may just want to start fresh and reinstall the system on the computers that are having the problems, but instead of using the built-in Migration Utility, you should just copy the files that you need through Firewire using Target-Disk Mode by holding down T on the computer you want to copy files from while it is plugged into the newer computer with a firewire cable. I usually don't use Migration Utility because it gives me problems, so you should probably just use the built-in Lion recovery partition to reinstall your system, then copy the files you need to it through target disk mode. Here are some links that may help.
Lion Recovery: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718
Target-Disk Mode: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661
Thank you very much for your take on this; I've never put much stock in "migration" applications, and thankfully I'm not the one who attempted to use one in this case.
So is it the case that there is no way (even in Terminal) to "baseline" the permissions on a drive? I'm sure the users would very much prefer that the machines don't have to be reset since they are used in a production environment.
There isn't a user or group called "System"
The Finder disguises the root user as System when it displays the permissions in Get Info.
For system files, what does it say where System used to be?
If it says "fetching…" there are likely ACLs still where they shouldn't be.
Did the consultant actually transfer the accounts over directly, or did the consultant migrate the stuff to a different user, then copy it into each user's home folders?
There is a user called "fetching" in the permissions list, but I'm not sure which method was used to perform the migration. Is there any way to reset the invalid ACLs on a system-wide basis; I did run the startup utility to reset the user's home folder, but I presume that wouldn't cover the entire drive.
I think that the "fetching" user may have been deleted on at least one of the machines. Not to add another layer of mess onto this, but is there any way to deal with it under those circumstances?
"fetching" is also not a user. It is a message telling you the Finder is trying to figure out the permissions. It genrerally can't.
I'm not sure what to use. I couldn't find anything from a source I trust.
I do know that
sudo chmod -RN /
will remove all the ACLs on the entire drive. Might take a while. Then you could try repairing permissions which will hopefully replace the necessary ones, and then do the repair on each home user, but I think reinstalling Lion over the top of everything will be easier.
If the machines are all the same, download the installer on one, then put it on an external to copy to each of the ones that need fixing.