Alright, you guys, behave yourselves or I'm going to turn this forum around and go back home. All seriousness aside:
@ alvasrawuther. Going up against established forum members, especially mods, is rarely a good idea (been there, done that, have the scars). It may be you aren't intending to, but, from where I sit, you are coming across antagonistic.
@ whs. You've forgotten more about computers in one day than I will ever know so I'm surprised I'm having to write this. Forums cost money to set up and operate. Bandwidth and storage isn't free. Cloud storage spaces may say they are free, but you are paying for it in some way, such as tracking, email harvesting, advertising, etc. One insidious revenue maker I've seen are photo sharing and storage sites that claim a right to use whatever is put on the site (ever carefully read the fine print?). You put a picture of your spouse on one and they can sell it to some porn site. Trust me, free is never free; someone is picking up the tab.
I'll be the first to admit that, featurewise, the HTG forums are overly simplistic. The Geek and I have privately tangled over some issues and I do not have a particularly high opinion of him but the fact is this is his website and he can do whatever he cottonpickin' feels like with it, whether we like it or not. If he wants to keep the forums simple (and low maintenance), it's his choice. If I was paying for the site, it would be a different story and there would be quite a few changes made. But I'm not paying for the site. And the simplistic design of the site in no way detracts from its usefulness (albeit it being a bit inconvenient).
If it's just a matter of having to do the coding for some of the improvements you would like to see, mayhap you could volunteer to do it for HTG. That doesn't mean that it will be accepted. It does mean, however, a long term commitment. I have a friend who recently went back to school to learn website design (including the coding). It took her a couple years to get her degree (on top of the library sciences degree she already had) and now works as an independent contractor for a web design company. We've had quite a few discussions about website design (mostly me carping about the piddle poor error trapping most website have) and I've learned enough to know how complex and time consuming it can be. That's why LH asked about the cost of of hiring a programmer (he tends to have an oblique way of making a point). Even if the Geek did the coding himself, he has to justify the time spent doing it when he could have been making money elsewhere. After all, he has to put food on the table.