We send an auto-reply when we receive your submission, but there are many times that the sender's ISP does not deliver it (they, for some reason, find ironbutt.com a suspicious email domain - go figure) or it ends up in the sender's spam folder. So just because you may not have received one, it doesn't mean we didn't receive it - a better measure is if your email submission bounced back to you.
No. As mentioned, for the regular members, the processing time is at least two to three months - and you also had the holiday period in the mix, where things slowed down.
I wouldn't expect anything until mid-February at the earliest. I have no insight into the process, but the timelines are fairly established. The verification team does an outstanding job in doing what they do.