I think that It looks much nicer and more professional. The ads don't bother me so much... it's not like they're inviting us to shoot ducks to win a prize or to take the ULTIMATE QUIZ!!!!!1!!! or something like that.
I think that the forum topics need some revision.
There should be a "General Discussion" that could house linux news discussions, etc. Under hardware, there should be an "Other" category that would accommodate questions about hardware not listed or general hardware discussions, such as "What MoBo is the best to build a 64 bit Linux system?"
Most of all I think it's a terrible idea to divide the discussion into specific Distros or to ask for a "favorite Distro" to register. Here's Why:
1 - There is no way to list every distro. I'm currently using elive, which is based in Debian, but my home computer uses Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, which is also in turn based on Debian. What Distro would I pick?
2 - As stated above, many people use multiple distros or switch frequently. I've also extensively used Mandriva and Sabayon (which is based on Gentoo, which is not even listed in the forums).
3 - Individual distros already have their own communities, forums, wikis, chatrooms, etc. to discuss all sorts of aspects related to that specific distro. If someone has a Distro-specific question or comment, it will almost always be better off posted at one of those resources than here.
4 - Many of the "distribution" questions that people have here are questions about which distribution will serve them best, or comparisons between distros. What forum should they post in?
Basically, it just doesn't make sense ideologically or practically to have the forums divided this way. It has the potential to create disparity in the wider Linux community, and it doesn't serve the needs of the people who use this site.