I was just re-reading your comments. When you were designing the Novacaster software what were the main considerations? Did you use existing forums as a guide or did you try to do something different? Is technology the biggest limitation?
Also, do customers ever come to you and ask you to change the format/design at all?
If there any other people with experience of designing forums (or websites) then the more comments the merrier! Would be interesting to see some of the differences. I asked Kevin Paulisse, the guy who developed DiscusWare, and he said most customers were more interested in an attractive interface rather than a well-designed one.