This forum does have a very colorful history. I agree that it has evolved into a forum populated by a great group of enthusiasts that get along great, as well as we all are very accommodating to the various persuasions within the hobby.
Don't know if it's accurate, but the join date at my profile page says November 25, 2000. I seem to recall my reason for joining was because at the time was I was exploring the possibility of doing 3-rail in a small room. That didn't prove to be my long-term direction, but I've stuck around because this is an interesting place with lots of fine folk! (OH, and I DO still have some 3-rail!)