OK, so now I remember why it's wrong to put kernel mode drivers in usb.usermap. It's for usermode drivers. Bleah. Now I've got to figure out why it doesn't accept it correctly in usb.distmap. I guess usb.handmap is also OK to plunk stv680 into, but might was well figure out why it didn't work in the distmap.
Adding more debug_mesg lines to hotplug.functions showed me that MODPROBE was showing up as ':'. WTF? Turns out usb.agent sets it to that for usermode drivers, and then executes the corresponding script under /etc/hotplug/usb/.
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