External Email & Permissions Management

I was able to get the FBA Pack to work, however I am still having trouble with email notifications and permissions.

1) When I create a new user with an external email address they do not receive an email notification, despite "Send welcome e-mail to new user" being checked. I have configured a transport rule on our Exchange server and configured SMTP settings in IIS. Emails for accounts in our AD and internal network are working fine. Not sure what I may be missing. Any ideas? Are there logs I can refer to for this?

2) When I create a new user with FBA user management and attempt to login with those credentials they must first request access to the site before I can add them to any of the sharepoint groups (Members, Owners, Visitors). Is there a way to add the FBA users to a permissions group without having to request access first? Our intention is to create several users and give them permissions to their appropriate sites without anyone ever having to request access.

Thank you
1) If internal emails are working properly, but not external - then relaying is not setup. You'll have to setup Exchange to allow relaying from the SharePoint server.
2) You can definitely add users to a group so they don't have to request access first. Just setup a SharePoint group with the appropriate permissions. Then, if using the FBA user management page, you can just check the group to add the user to it at the time they are created. If you're using the Membership Request web part to add users, you can edit the web part properties and select the group that they will be added to.
1) I have setup a relay on the Exchange server that includes the sharepoint servers IP address. I am still not receiving external emails.

2) I don't see the a group selection available at the time of user creation.

I feel as if I am missing something or my configuration is incomplete. I still have to login as the new user, access the site and request permission. Once I approve the permission I can then add the external user to the appropriate group.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks for the quick response!

I initially had "Enable Roles" checked so my groups weren't displaying. Oops. That is now fixed. Still having trouble with emails. I am going to play around with the authentication settings and go from there. Thank you.
If internal emails are working and external emails are not, every instance i've seen has always been due to relaying not setup properly - so i'd check into that some more. If you'd like to verify it's the exchange setup and not SharePoint, you can test sending email via smtp directly from the SharePoint server. You can test it directly via Telnet. Some directions are here:
Fixed both issues. Appreciate the help.

One final question: How would I go about setting up a password recovery page for the user(s) to utilize? If they do not know their password they would not be able to authenticate to Sharepoint. How could they then reach this web part if it's on a page within the Sharepoint site?

Thank you

You can create a page in a document library that has anonymous access enabled. Then just add the web part to the page.