I wonder if there has been a reduction in activity on the forums after the changes. Personally I find them less functional overall than before the upgrade, and aggravating enough to make me want to use them only as much as I "need" to.
Speaking only for myself, I'm not spending less time
per day here on the forum, but because I do have a limited time for forum surfing, and because the efficiency has gone way down, I'm not reading as many posts or interacting as much. Here's why... just to reiterate problems mentioned in this thread:
The VLINK color is set the same as LINK color, so on the index page I can't tell which threads I've already read. That's a major time-waster. I have to either track the post times on the right, or just see if there's a new post in a thread by trial and error.
The forum no longer sends me to the newest unread post (and to the last unread page, if it's a multi-page thread). That makes me less interested in reading posts that go over one page, since it requires extra mouse clicks to find the last place I left off reading. It's doubly annoying because the index of messages doesn't indicate when it's a multi-page thread, and there's no shortcut link to the last page in a thread.
Finally, I have to manually increase the font size with Ctrl+ (in Firefox), since they're now using this tiny font, and I have to make sure I'm not applying that to other sites, just this one. If the devs actually like this new font size, then they must be using awfully low screen resolutions.
Unfortunately my free time didn't automatically increase to compensate for all this new inefficiency. So I'm reading less, posting less, and looking mainly for basic info (like when the next beta update is due). I'm hoping the person(s) in charge of the forum are just busy with other things at the moment, and these changes aren't intentional or permanent.