This is a very rough draft, please consider accordingly.
The buddy list has become a sort of address book for co-workers. Clients associating user-directory information and email with buddy list entries, such as NotesBuddy, are particularly driving this behavior.
Entries in the buddy list are presence subscriptions, and are a load on the server. How many of the entries in the buddy list does the user actually need presence updates for?
The following are possible solutions to the problem outlined above.
Mark buddies in the buddy list as requiring status updates or not. Default newly added buddies to no status updates. Provide a quick method for fetching a one-time status update.