I stand corrected. At least partly.
I attended an Adobe seminar a couple of weeks ago and I during the break had the privilege to speak with Adobe guru Julieanne Kost. Where she confirmed the complaint about images not being linked to different catalogs, and the smart catalog things I wrote about, and the identity plate, and some other things, she showed me the simplest way of making the presets accessible throughout all catalogs (should’ve been able to figure that out myself, though).
There’s a setting in the preferences, of which the box is by default checked. This tells Lightroom to save all presets you make with the current catalog.
If you uncheck this box, all the presets you make after that (restart Lightroom, just to be sure!) are stored in the global presets folder and accessible by all catalogs.
Saves you some ranting 😀