... who cares? Why not links to related forums? It's a pain in the arse getting, eg, from Golive to WebDesign. And lose, please, that useless 'More Like Box'. In fact we still don't need the right column - there's plenty of wasted space up top. wWho needs to 'Browse' all people or all discussions? Stick the related links up there in a menu.
Or put them in the Overview tab, but rename it so we know what it's for.
I don't agree about the right hand column. It fills it purpose.
I do agree though that it must be easier to get to the other forums than it is now. The InDesign and Illustrator forums are reallly hiding deep down while the Flex forum is on top level for some to me mysterious reason. And some others you only get to by other very broad headings that don't say much.
The top participants part is a bit odd.
What makes you a top participant?
Nowhere is it stated why someone is that or why not. Based on number of posts? That's unfair in that case as many of us lost our number of posts in first the previous forum switch and then the now forum switch (though I got mine back from before the previous switch but lost the ones from the interim period until this switch).
Trying to click on the very small letters to search for a participants is also very hard as you can chardly see those letters. Apart form that those searches don't seem tofind the participants even though you know that they exist.
I ended up using a text box in the Your View tab on the main forum page to store a group of links to forums and such. That's still two clicks away, but closer and more pared down than anything else I've found.
One suggestion I'd make for the right column... rather then getting rid of the actions box, add the icons to the bar under the black Forums box, with the New and Your Stuff, etc. Allow a preference for displaying just the icon with a mouse fly over to display a text discription. If people want to keep the text, let it wrap to two lines in the bar. Might have to wrap anyway for hosts... the host tools are in the actions box also.
However it happens, I'd like to buy back the right column to expand the post column.