Why are these "site sponsers" getting their own little sections? I think it is great that they are helping support the site. Its not like there is going to be any kind of productive threads come from them. I know, myself, when a advertisement pops up or its at the top of the page I can't click fast enough or scroll down the page quick enough to get past it.
It is quite simple. The new owners of the site made an investment and are working on getting their money back. The new forums were added because the companies have paid for advertising space. Plain and simple.
In the past, Chilly didn't want or have paid sponsors of the site... we had folks that offered advice, spent time answering questions and such. In return, they ended up getting some business out of it, some more than others. Many of them offered way more than they got in return, especially if you take into account the time they offered and much of the information they posted on a daily basis. Some of the vendors that have offered their time and knowledge, and it is safe to say that some feel like the information that they have provided has been sold out from under them. Since I was not around since the beginning of the forum, I don't have understanding of what they feel, but I see their side of the deal, and I have benefitted from it tremendously, and I intend to use them when I can and it makes sense for me to do so.
At this point, the sponsors pages are keeping the forum free for the time being, and we can make good use of the forum as it is... which means you can still contact the previous supporters of the forum and spend your money with them as you choose, access as much of the information as any normal person can comprehend... or complain about the companies that are paying for advertising to keep it the way it is. It is your call, but either way, complaining a lot will not keep folks around... be it the folks giving you good information to go with, or folks that are paying for advertising and hoping to get something in return. One of these days, if we don't dog the guys to death that have decided to pay for an advertising space, they will find it much more worthwhile to offer advice in their forums and we can get some more good info from them, or sponsors that are capable of providing such info. It costs money to run a forum, and the bigger it gets, the more is costs. Some of the guys who have branched out recently have seen that this is the case and are looking at their options.