From the Player's Handbook:
Gauntlet: This metal glove protects your hands and lets you deal lethal damage rather than nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes. A strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack.
So, my questions are, do you need the Improved Unarmed Strike feat to not provoke an attack of opportunity while attacking with a gauntlet? Since it is considered an unarmed attack, is it modified by the feat Superior Unarmed Damage? Is the gauntlet's damage (1d3) being added to the unarmed damage of the attacker or modified by it?
In a forum one quotes Wizards of the Coast's 3.5 DnD faq, where the following question is answered:
Can a monk use a +5 gauntlet in an unarmed attack, gaining all of her class benefits as well as the +5 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls from the gauntlet? Gauntlets are indeed a weapon. If a monk uses any weapon not listed as a special monk weapon, she does not gain her better attack rate. She would, however, gain the increased damage for unarmed attacks
I am not sure if it is relevant or not, so i posted it here, and maybe some one can give me solid answers.