I got to do quite a lot of work using MOSS WCM variations for creating translations of pages and sites to different languages.
Having the microsoft VM i noticed that whenever I created a new variation to a page a manu would show at the top right of the page and allow me to switch between all variations of that page.
To my (rather big) surprise I found out that when I did the very same procedure on my customer's production server variations did work ok and translated my pages but I did not see the variations menu and could not navigate from one variation of the page to another.
Looking at the master page I did see the variations menu control (<PublishingVariations:VariationsLabelMenu id="labelmenu1" runat="server"/>
After some googling me and shlomy (my customer from IDC) did we learned that the variations menu control uses a user control (ascx file) to display the items, and that by default this control is commented out inside the ascx (?!?!?!?)
What I had to do in order to make the variations label menu visible is to open "VariationsLabelMenu.ascx" that is in "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\" and remove the comment text wrapping the control <%!-- and --%>
Now everything works!
Why is it turned off by default? Have no idea. But in 2-3 minutes you'll have your site's variations labe up and running and your users will be surfing between page translations in no time!
Hope this helps, will update if I find a reason to turn it off since I didnt find one yet.
Shai Ben Shooshan