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That may be boring but should be available as on option because it`s very functional:
You immediately know where to look for discussions etc.
I have looked at this example forum and the one by Kate of BBC Click and I find there is too much going on on the pages. Stylish is nice but overcrowded is not great for orientation.
In times of so much info overload a typical reaction of a visitor that doesn`t immediately find what he/she was expecting (from all that he/she knows about all the other forums) could be to be reluctant to take a minute or to and leave the site.