If the login forms in the frontend do not work anymore after an update to Magento CE 1.8.1 or EE 1.13.1, the used theme has to be updated. These forms now need a form key, if it is missing, validation in the controller fails. The same applies for the “Update Cart” button in
cart.phtml. How to fix it, see this link:
Of course it would be optimal, if the them overrides as little core templates as possible and does its changes with layout updates in
[theme]/local.xml and CSS wherever possible.