here is my thread from the thinkhost thread which I believe sums up everything I had to say:
I do agree that newbies usually go to the "Main" forum. The problem is that the "Technical Forum" is a sub category of "Business Forums". Now, if I were a newbie, I would not wander into a "Business forum". Just sounds too serious. Which brings me back to my point of the structure of the forums.
My suggestion (as Learner pointed out):
3 Main Headings:
1) Technical / Support Forums
2) Reviews / Opinions Forums
3) Advertising / Commercial Forums
And then a couple subcategories under each, for example:
1) Technical / Support Forums:
2) Reviews / Opinions:
A. General Webhosts Discussion
B. Hate your host? Post here.
C. Love your host? Post here. (or combine the love and hate posts to one forum)
3)Advertising / Commercial
A. Sell your Hosting services here.
B. Solicit Hosting services here.
C. Check out my website type posts here.
D. Anything goes here? (Maybe a suggestions forum or...)
Same number of forums = 9, better structure (my opinion of course!) And doesn't intimidate newbies = better participation by everyone.
I think this format would increase participation, clarify what goes where, and make it a lot easier on the Moderators.