daveVk - 5:55 am on Jun 5, 2012 (gmt 0)
All forms should return the currently selected elements regardless of what was preselected via <option selected="selected">..
see demo here [api.jquery.com...]
$('select option:selected') is clearest syntax as it the option element that is selected.
Note that as in demo multiple elements can be returned.
If you need to know what was preselected use say <option selected="selected">