I still think AdSense or something similarly unintrusive would generate good revenue given the volume and diversity of the traffic here: this could easily be combined with a user donation system to remove ads for those who still wish to contribute and/or don't want to see ads.
At least with advertising everyone is contributing some form of revenue, in one way or another. No free rides, more fairness for all.
I don't know all the stats from ASC (including operating costs) but I'd hazard an educated guess it could generate $50-100/day in revenue, possibly more (guessing from stats from my own server, hosting pics etc which I posted here).
It could potentially not only pay for hosting and related expenses, but also for some form of compensation for staff and/or occasional draws etc.