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Here's a post about common mistakes I see made with SSH. A few shortcuts to being more productive when you have a complicated server network. And other neat tips and tricks.
The most common problem I see new users attempting to use public key auth is to get the permissions wrong either on their home directory, .ssh directory, or authorized_keys file. Luckily, the openssh project provides a helpful FAQ answer.
Yesterday I was trying to implement a feature allowing me to unforward the ports while connected. Here is current development progress(which is stopped atm) but the beta-version of solution has been released.
p.s. I also posted that to OpenSSH developers.