is there a 'simple' way to allow the ignore function to work while turning off the buddy list?
Don't think so, you'd have to edit it out of the code.
i was afraid of that.... man, i've messed with enough core code... i think i'll live with it (and by proxy force my users to do the same)... :)
It's possible. You could do the whole thing just with CSS if you were determined to, but I don;t think this would be a good use of CSS. Too much likelihood of hiding the wrong things if different membergroups have different menu content and/or profile content.
The sanest and easiest method would be to remove the link to the buddies page in the menu array in Sources. Just swap the link for the ignore list with the "Buddies/Ignore List..." link. Hey presto, no buddies list in menu, so effectively they can't find it. If some pig-headed clown is determined to find it via direct url you can either a/ let them or b/ change that page to a blank page with a 10,000 hour Nyan Cat video. I'd go for b/. I'm like that.
You could also drop the buddies button out of the secondary menu array (just above the table), and to do the job thoroughly you'd also have to remove the "[Add to Buddies List]" link from the profile summary page, just below the avatar. That should cover everything. A couple of edits in two menu arrays, and one small template edit. Up to you if you think it's worth the trouble.
I may or may not try to.... thing is, I'm still running 2.0.15.... im likely going to continue until 2.1 is gtg... I'll cross this bridge after that...