Tritone, we have come down on different sides on a few issues and on the same side on a few others, but have been able to debate without calling the others intelligence into question, which is, I think, the reason the board is fun. I agree with a lot of your points, but keep in mind that a lot of threads won't interest everybody. Personally, I don't like polls, but that's just me. Sometimes I take part, sometimes I don't. Like Mike8, I go nuts when posters start making assumptions about room dynamics or leadership, or sentences that start with, 'we all know that'.
I agree with your point about being too quick to condemn, whenever Cherry goes off the rails or we have a Bertuzzi like incident. i don't quite agree with your position on the two, but that's not the same issue. Your comments on trollers got me thinking, I have no problem with our friend Johnny. To me, he's having fun, and there is humor in consistency, and he's made me laugh more than once. Humor is personal though and it's to take or leave. I don't like when a poster from another team's board comes on with something enlightening like, "smurfs","you suck" or "you only win because of the refs", but I think as long as we have Hab fans doing the same dumb things, that's just the way it is.
Finally, your first point, about digression or off topic threads, I don't know if you remember reading Catcher in the Rye. There was a bit about a shy kid in Holden's class doing public speaking. The kid was losing marks for digression when Holden said that the truth was that the digression was the interesting part. Good thing about conversation is that you don't know where it's going to take you.
In the end, Habs is right, you can't beat the price.