I know about defining links in LVHA (link, visited, hover, active) order in my css, thanks to Eric Meyer. Not so sure about where to define the focus link, but I generally put it after hover, because I see it as the same thing as the keyboard version of hover. What I didn’t realize was that IE uses the active link definition instead of the focus link definition when you use the keyboard to navigate to an element.
In my current project – where I defined default link, visited, hover, focus, and active styles – I also had to use !important on any of the active definitions I needed for IE to get them to override the link default styles I defined. Not sure what’s up with that, I’m sure it’s just something I’m missing, which I need to track down.
So, remember to define a:active styles along with a:focus styles to get IE to play nicely.