A couple tiny suggestions
In the vein of your "Forum quality is predicated by good UI / layout" talk I have a couple of suggestions:
1) Remove the "X.X k views" and "Y.Y k comments" vanity metrics from the discussion listing. They are just clutter and serve no purpose.
2) Remove the avatar of the original poster from the discussion listings. This is also just a vanity feature and is even detrimental to the user experience. I don't want to know that Rym started this discussion chain in 2007, I want to see who the most recent commenter is (preferably I would like to see the most recent three).
These suggestions are, of course, matters of opinion, but I think they are reasonable ones.
I'll predict what Apreche will say. "Make me an CSS file if it bothers you so much, and I'll consider using it."
Also Home = Back To Discussions, if that's what you mean.
If you want to donate enough money to pay for it (above and beyond what we are already paying), they will help us to develop a completely custom theme, like the Penny Arcade or NS2 forums have. If you want to make a custom Vanilla theme on your own, go for it. All I have done is select the most tasteful of the available default themes. That is all I will do.
I don't care if you are too lazy to do this, all I wanted to do is call your attention to a couple of instances of exactly the kind of shit UI you disparage in your talk.
What valid reason could you possibly have to edit your post after an entire hour other than cowardice? I only ever edit a post immediately after submitting it in case there is a typo, or something I forgot.
For example the entire introduce yourself thread :-p
Also, I'm sure that some people will be happy that the insert image, links, and what not above the comment box will be please to know it is back.
It'll make life easy and everybody happy, they said.
Are there Pusheen smileys because Facebook has them.
But sure, if you want to cater to the lowest denominator, go ahead.