It's not so much the message of the picture I'd wager, it's more about what it says about the person behind them. Having something like Rambo as your avatar is fine, it says you probably think the Rambo movies are cool and maybe that you like action movies in general. That's the sort of information most people will not object to knowing. They may not care about it, but it's not too much or anything of that sort.
When you have an avatar you find sexy though, you're telling the rest of us about your fantasies and very intimate pleasures. And seeing as avatars can't be blocked, you're basically forcing people to know these very intimate details about you, which can be crossing a line for some.
Everyone will of course have different sensitivity to this, but I think that's the general principle behind being uncomfortable with these avatars.
lol what? if i have a bikin girl i just say i like that girl. it's as much intimate then saying i like a rambo movie. why is it intimate to say i like this kind of girls? haha really?
i like slim bikini girls -> oh damn now you know it, sry
maybe i feel more offended by people if they show me that they like movies where someone is killing others? so telling people what kind of girls i like is too intimate but telling people that i like movies with a rambo or that i like a movie like "saw" wouldn't be intimate? wouldn't that say much more about my character if i would tell this an psychologist?
i believe it's much more intimate to tell people which character you have to like crazy animes (damn what do i tell people whith that)
what do i say with my actual pic? am i against darwin or do i believe him? isn't that something nobody should know? and if people should know why shouldn't they know which taste i have in woman? what's the problem with that? that's our freaking nature to like other people!
if i would only have the face of a video game babe like kasumi, wouldn't that say the same intimate about me than a pic of a bikin girl? would you think the same with that pic? i mean i would say with it that i like kasumi, maybe only for her fighting style but most would think because of her right?
Then you should feel free to voice your displeasure because it crosses a line for you.
What you're saying is that you should be allowed to use pictures of people you like as avatars, and I couldn't agree more. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is however a difference to portraying people as someone you "like" and someone you lust for. Most of the avatars being discussed here make the people they're portraying come off as someone to lust for, and not someone who is simply nice or pretty or whatever, and that can cross a line for some people.
I could be completely wrong of course and all those people who voted 'yes' in the poll did so because they don't want awkward situations like has been described, or for some entirely different reason. My point however is simply this: Some content offends some people, whether that content is people showing some skin or a portrayal of Darwin as a monkey. Be sensitive about it rather than being dismissive.