Sup, I'm new around as well. Came over for the same reasons as the original poster mentioned. And I think have some ideas as well.
The layout seems very wide. I've worked in graphic agencies before and I use to make layouts like these but I always find that now a days in modern forums, they are more compacted feel. Something like this:http://www.pokecommunity.com/
Now I know this not the best forum nor do I go on it per say, but I mean the actual design of it feels compacted and organized in different sections.
Another idea would the "HD" feel where if you wana go the opposite direction and make feel more eye candy while the layout feels simple.
This is just my 2 cents for it. Also a new color scheme would be great since grey all around is not that interesting to look at. Or at least a different background.
I fooled around photoshop to give a quick idea