7.14.10 / 6:10
HERE IS THE ISSUE:
When using the Flex 4.1 SDK and checking the "Use Flex 3 Compatibility Mode" box, visual anomalies occur (regardless of whether styles or skins are used). Such issues include ComboBox list text becoming non visible. The same is true for the Alert box, where no text is seen.
I'm including a screenshot demonstrating the issues. The top image shows what happens when the Compatibility box is checked - the ComboBox list text is invisible. The lower image combo shows what happens when the box is not checked.
Please note that when using the older Flex 4.0 SDK these visual anomalies are not seen and all works just fine.
I believe the issue you're describing is http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-26940.
There is a workaround listed in the bug report which should work (based on my testing), or you could probably set the direction and layoutDirection styles globally using a Style block.