Mitcho: thanks for this change.. right away I saw an improvement in my results, however, I have a question.
Are you pulling this new excerpt directly from the excerpt field in the database, or are you accessing the excerpt via WordPress's excerpt function?
Because now when a post has an excerpt, that gets displayed, but when it doesn't have an excerpt AND it has a [caption] tag early in the first paragraph, the [caption] tag appears in my 'related posts' portion of my site, and looks bad.
I believe, and maybe someone can correct me, the the_excerpt(); function sanitizes the content for you, so even if you had a [caption] tag, it shouldn't appear. If you are pulling the excerpt directly from the database, this function never gets called.
Thanks so much for the amazing plugin!