Everybody sing along:
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one: Imagine there's no forums, it's easy if you try, no time criteria, only relevant stuff.
Using forums to organize information is very much like the "Web Directory" idea Yahoo had for organizing the web , and you know what happened to Yahoo when Google came with no directories but an automated formula for relevance. You need to think of the software not as a "forum", but software to enable a community of shared information. Get rid of the "fora" and have the main page be a listing of posts and comments with several pull down menus to filter the contents displayed by category, points, views, comments, friendship, etc.