RE: I still don’t really understand what the contact plugin is for.
It hides the email address and display a contact form instead to allow site visitors to contact directory entries without revealing their email addresses.
RE: Ideally (and what I hoped for) was looking for a way to click the user name that then is a link to the email address.
Sorry, I do not understand … when the email addresses are displayed, they are links. Here’s a screenshot from your site which shows this.