since there seems to be such a big divide, why not put it to a simple vote.
Design work is not easy, but unfortunately if the client doesnt like it, you can argue till your blue in the face of its merit, but that is irrelevant.
instead of having a thread full of bashing, some constructive criticism might be more usefull for the mods and admin.
At the end of the day, you cannot please everyone, but if the majority is against you, it can be difficult to justify change
I voted for no. 1 (Its not that bad, some work and tweaks will make it my best friend again). A re-design will always divide users (I’m a designer, so I know how fickle this can be). I think it takes time for people to get used to the new look and features but once the little bugs have been ironed out and snags tended to, I’m sure it’ll work just as well as the old site. Give it time people! It’s like getting a new pair of boots after your favourite pair has disintegrated and had to be binned. I’m not sure how old exactly the site/forum was, but it was a bit old fashioned and even a couple of years in web technology is ancient