shouldn't .htconfig.php and the Admin Page be the same? Like this setting?
// Recommend you leave this set to 1. Set to 0 to let people register without
// proving they own the email address they register with.
App::$config['system']['verify_email'] = 0;
Still people need to approve, even after a server reboot. Background is, they don't get the registration mail, mine was rejected from the server, too, but, well, it is my mailserver.
Another difference is:
App::$config['system']['register_policy'] = REGISTER_APPROVE;
in .htconfig.php, but in Admin it says just "Yes".