@wraith - Other than making a flat-styled forum discussion look more like a chat session, how exactly is it so different?
I'm probably missing something (as I often do) but from reading what's on the Discourse website, it strikes me more as preaching to the choir about fixing a problem that I'm not sure exists. Or at least that the "problem" isn't as significantly problematic as the authors of Discourse seem to feel.
FWIW, the premier discussion site (The Well) has used a frankly antiquated (by choice) system for hosting some of the finest and most well considered discussions you'll find anywhere. So I don't think the "problems" with forums the Discourse team seems to be so concerned about have as much to do with the technology
as they do with the more limited attention span
some (many?) of their target users seem to have.
That said, it sure does look pretty - even if I do have a little trouble easily seeing where one comment leaves off and another begins because of the minimalist look and my admittedly lousy vision.
Definitely going have to look more closely into this since my grail quest for an ideal online discussion system has been going on for years.