On the OT issue, I think the place isn't half bad. I like to hear about guys car projects, bands, interesting political stuff etc. It helps me remember the guys (and gals) here have lives, are getting married and stuff and are real human beings not just avatars with strange opinions.
In fact I post on a law board (www.lawbuzz.ca
if you are curious) which is supposed to be for law students, lawyers etc and it often gets much worse than the OT section does here.
I agree with Skru though, it could be better moderated and I'm sure with some targeted arm-twisting a few good mods could be recruited.