Some points to consider:
AMD Buying ATI
This acquisition/merger has fostered an identitiy crisis in the community wrt loyalties, and has created a buzz which has increased volatility within hardware communities.
The Console Wars
This is not a usual year for the console wars. The red vs. green theme is more front-and-center and "all over the place" ... it's been carried out full swing, more than ever, ALSO assisitng with the identity crisis and community volatility.
Growth of the Forum
I don't just mean this forum, but forums in general. Community bulletin board enrollment is accelerating with the advent of broadband and the subsequent increase across all demographics of internet users. These days there's a muc wider range of personality types attending forums, so not everybody's so like minded these days.
The mods here have always done a great job under the guidance of our Fearless Leader. He has great foresight, and is definitely proactive
about how he handles community attitude.
Things will calm down. We're all friends here.