Antielectrons, I feel your pain. The thread had turned into a b*itchfest and was serving no further useful pupose. I became concerned also about the fact that it had been deleted, rather than closed.
HOWEVER.... With the wealth of information available here, the resources and personalities represented, this is a valuable and important place to be if you are in love or flirting with conventional photography. Yes, there are others, but this one is a labor of love on all our parts, and I dont even want to think about what this costs Sean to run.
There are a couple other prominent groups that are run by a few opinionated people that can only simply be described as Forum Goons. Enter any topic they dont like and they are all over you like stink on....whatever. Or pose something that is a mundane question to the Einstiens (oops, I mean demigods) of the group, many who are moderators, and watch your cojones get stomped.
I would encourage you to scratch your mad spot and get glad! Subscriptions make this thing go, and anyone that is more than a casual user should seriously consider supporting the effort. Even if a b*itchfest thread goes in the dump. Just my opinion, and the opinion of my trusty sidekick Rocky. Right Rocky?