Re: user blogs without multisite
Don’t forget the author.php. I use it in the most creative ways! As mentioned above you can use Gforms for frontend posting, or even allow your subscribers only access to Writing Post admin page only and then display the users’ “blog” posts on their author.php page (yoursite.com/author/username).
You could even embed the gform in the author.php for loggedin authors and display posts for logged out. You can go as far as customizing that author.php template to add the parts of the buddypress member profile, (I think you can replicate the entire member profile on there if you really wanted to) and voila you have user blogs without multisite and blog within user profile. Heck you could even make the author.php template very blog like and include a dedicated sidebar and widgets that only pertain to that author. It takes some..(alot of) tweaking but it’s doable, so good luck!