2011-07-15 I added the .local domain to the nameser ...
I added the .local domain to the nameserver at home as a way to make sure avahi-related queries never escape onto the big Internet. But it seems avahi tests for the presence .local by querying for the SOA record in the DNS and disables itself when that is available. So every time an avahi implementation starts a query for .local has to 'escape' or avahi won't work. Not what I had in mind.
I disabled this .local domain in the local resolver until I can find a way to configure bind9 to return NXDOMAIN without querying the root servers.
Information via Avahi and Unicast Domains .local.