Ken, reading John Muir, that's a good one to do. Also far more educational than posting a lot in these forums, there's only so much you can really say about gear in the end, you have a tent, a backpack, a sleeping bag, you cook or you don't, you walk around, maybe you even hear and see something you hadn't before, if you managed to slow down enough to do that. Muir is also far more unabashedly reverent of nature, and not once you do see him brag about how many miles he did in a day while passing through as much nature as possible in the least time. I find him refreshing, despite his faults and blindness to certain things, I hadn't actually read a full book of his, just excerpts, so if you're looking for a better way to spend your time, that's one. Edward Abbey is fun too, though not quite as deep, though he too also brings up good points now and then. Wendell Berry shows that there is life out there in the American wastelands still as well, a delightful writer/thinker/liver. All these guys really help put bpl into a more reasonable perspective, since they tend to focus on what really matters, though, as someone who doesn't mind doing some gear geeking as a hobby when there's nothing better to do, I like bpl for making me massively over-think every part of my kit and practice, something I never did before.
I see the discussions about your tone or whatever, but I guess I don't spend enough time reading these forums to actually know what they are talking about, or to care (really, there are much much bigger things to care about nowadays), I don't see it, you seem in general one of the more coherent and reasonable people here, at least that's my non insider perspective, as someone who finds lot of other things to read and do online than one single gear forum dealing with a niche of a niche of outdoor gear use,
I see you organizing trips, planning events, putting out, for free, your time/energy. As someone who has done a LOT of volunteer work over the past years, I have always noted the huge difference between those who actually do the work and put out their energy and those who don't. I'd be a lot more impressed with your critics if I saw their names attached constantly to event organizing and other free volunteer stuff, of any sort. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of trying to monetize a community resource, 99.5%, at least, of what I use bpl for is the forums and the member generated ongoing knowledge base, the reviews I find mostly useless, though links to other reviewers out there can be really good.
I do think however that by narrowing the focus / bias so much to ul stuff, bpl really limits what it can achieve, but that's just how it turns out, hard to control where web stuff goes. But ul has this problem, that once you sort of figure it out, you have so little gear that there's really not that much to talk about, I mean, we know that thin raingear will wet out, and some of us even know, having used it, that thicker stuff doesn't, but beyond that, there's only so many words you can write.
What's interesting about Muir was that he really found city life vile, and spent as much time as he could out there, and only took time to write it up when he got older, a lot older. Ie, when he basically couldn't do it anymore. Food for thought. I still haven't had an UL trip that was better than a heavy pack trip, except for the hike itself, but even that I don't really think was that much better, just a bit easier. I need to work on slowing down a bit more I think, then I should start hearing/seeing what makes it all worthwhile in the end again. There's so much cool stuff to learn out there, gear is a tiny piece, but shouldn't be more than that.
bpl will end up where it ends up, but forum chitchat should never take the place of real life of any sort, so bpl is always going to have some pretty built in restrictions based on its biases and focus. Here's to recovering health and well being enough to hear the voice of nature when it decides to speak, and here's also to knowing when to stop doing things that lead away from that goal.