The island first known as simply "Island" (and later as "Avalon") brought on new concerns of commercialism within Second Life. The island was one of the first islands to be put on the public auction block, allowing the highest bidder to do what they liked with it. In this case the highest bidder turned out to be an owner of a marketing company with plans to feature not only in-world artists, but also a real-world one as well. It led to an uncomfortable situation in the forums when a rather unknown resident, and now owner of the island, posted his intentions with the island. The post, laden with a marketing skew and mentioning advertising a real-life clothing designer on the island (and possibly future RL things), enflamed the forums.
Many topics soon arose debating things such as corporate entities, advertising, and commercialism within SL. A few residents protested Avalon and the ideas the owner had for it on the forums and in world (even on the island itself). The concerns residents expressed ranged from unfair monetary advantages, to advertisements, corporitization, and McDonaldization of and within Second Life. Not everyone was seeing negative views of the situation of course. Some welcomed the idea of "eMarket" possibilities while others took a "wait-and-see" stance, not yet ready to make any judgements.
Avalon eventually put its project ideas into swing and things eventually calmed down slightly. The calm seems to have been brought on by the fact that some residents did help and their work was featured deservedly. Another factor could have been that the biggest impact Avalon had on SL turned out to be its introduction and having very little grid-wide impact. The lack of mass change that was a major concern, could have been because the concern was voiced so loudly in the first place.
Avalon also caused people to think about some good issues and how they should be handled in the future. More than likely, one day bigger companies will want to do some sort of business within SL, this situation can be looked at as a slight guide for both the residents and said companies on where lines are and how things will be responded too.
Currently the Avalon project is said to be closing sometime soon (as of April 2005), it remains to be seen what will happen to the island itself.