Ya know what I really like about LiveJournal these days? The message settings. I can tell it to email me whenever a specific friend updates their LJ and no matter whether it's private or not, I keep up on the posts! The feeds just weren't cutting it for me for the good friends I really wanted to read everything because my feedreader didn't want to show me private things.
If you haven't seen this yet, check out Manage Message Settings :) And if you have one or two specific friends you'd like notifications on, visit their profile page and click the push pin to set up notification options.