A fun observation of several things at once:
Consider tagline creation currently going on in the lounge. It started as "submit your idea" thing, turned into a poll where your idea would be voted on. In the end, the requirements for the tagline had changed yet the poll choices stayed the same.
As a life experiment it shows in my opinion that some ways of engagement with audience clearly benefit from a certain tech. The same poll would be better if it would be in reddit because you can collect, in real time, best gems submitted by the community. Currently requirements changed, poll has an irrelevant result and as a author you need to nullify the poll results and ask people again for submissions. Puts both voter and poll author in a weird position.
Yet on reddit your very post, @thejohnfreeman would be downvoted heavily due to less than humble tone and I'm as a user wouldn't be able to see it. That would be unfair. So, in order to judge each post we would need more complex system that would allow to evaluate content and a form of the input separately (not just upvote/downvote). I believe in that case the community would be better off regardless of its size, wouldn't it?
However I'm not aware of such developed platform.
At the moment I have no opinion in the question what's the platform should be. I think the plugin system has shown wild success and I could piggyback on its premise:
I believe If people like their platform of choice, they can create their own unofficial community and see what flies and what doesn't. Those who'd like the forum to be on the paid platform could create a cash bounty for sponsoring the switch or offer server resources/admin services for maintenance.
Let me know what you think, be critical if you must, I don't mind