About fifteen hours later there was a follow up entry posted to the original announcement, and I was both surprised and pleased by it. The first time I read it I misunderstood what was being said and thought that the maximum number of userpics had been moved from 20 to 30 -- still a pretty generous move in and of itself. After I re-read the entry I came to realize that I had read it wrong the first time... LiveJournal hadn't increased the maximum to 30 userpics, they had increased the maximum by thirty. I wasn't sure if this perk was automatically extended to my account, but after checking out this updated FAQ I have confirmed I have 50 userpics as my new limit.
I continue to stand by my assertion that buying a permanent account was the best thing I ever did with LiveJournal (aside from when I originally signed up back in 2001). Little benefits like this just keep showing up when I least expect them.
Now it's time to get to work filling those newly empty slots! I think I commissioned ashryn at sone point for a few userpics but I don't remember for certain so now I have to go back through my records and see if I actually did or not. Anybody else interested in making some money on the side?