Another nicely done forum, well done. The only changes really for me are to replace the default ? avatar, because some of your forums have loads of ? as the avatars, eg...
If you change it to something on the theme of your site, it will look a lot nicer for those who can't be bothered to upload a user image. Maybe a greyed out star or a star inside a Texas shape?
The forum home page has a nicely populated side bar with lots in and lots to see.
I'm not keen on lots of stats under the avatar. If you look at this page http://www.lonestarstangs.com/threads/12second5-0-in-the-house.71306/ each user has only posted one or two lines, but there is a huge amount of dead white space between each post. But as I said in other feedback posts, I do understand some communities prefer that arrangement.
Good use of the header space on the right to insert a banner.
I agree with everything you said. Changing the default avatar to something that flows better with the site would look much better than the grayed out question mark. And I agree with the "less is more" mentality of the stats under the avatar, however since I just migrated this forum from vbulletin, I didn't want to change too much at the same time. And vbulletin showed that info in each post. I'll probably ween the members off of some of the stats.
You're welcome. I had a bit of resistance to the loss of stats too, but it all boiled down to people not liking change. You're right to do it in steps. My members were happy when they realised you can get all the stats anyway just by clicking on the avatar, and by having it that way, the page is less cluttered.