@whs - You had your last discussion five years ago, and A LOT CHANGES IN 5 YEARS! Things like bolding of text, italics, underlining,etc. come to be expected when authoring a post. And the simplicity doesn't have to go - with a little more effort, a link for PMs can be added just where the links for all the other PM tools like "Create New Topic",etc. are present and people won't notice it unless they need it. And stuff like quoting people and bolding of text,etc. can be added in a similar way - still keeping it simple. It won't add to any amount of confusion or clutter, it'll only make the simplicity more enriching. Removing useful(and much needed) features is obviously not an excuse to making the forum simple. And quoting other posts to reply to them is a must - even right now, I'm trying to reply to many of your different posts with different contexts in a single reply, and it's harder without quoting you.
I agree with your suggestions on implementing an integrated image hosting service, cloud storage is cheap nowadays and it isn't like HTG is at debt. BTW, if you are having trouble finding good personal image(or file) hosting services, I suggest you take a look at CloudApp(Mac)/FluffyApp(Windows). Some other nice ones are localhostr and imgur.