Overall I think its fantastic, PbNation is an extremely important part of paintball and the site moving forward to be more in line with other modern websites is a net positive.
With that said a couple of items I noticed and would like to provide some feedback and constructive criticism.
A major missed opportunity on the front page as there is nothing for, or about new players to grow the sport. If I was a casual paintball player it would overwhelm me and I would immediately close the page.
It's long been the staple of PbNation to feature the top of the forums as a new-player friendly area. Even just adding a link about new players somewhere on the top navigation bar would point them in the correct direction. Or even adding a placeholder page if not logged in on how to use the site would be helpful to them. To see what I mean maybe check out www.esea.net
I realize the services are different but the idea and implementation is sound.
Right now the front page mostly features things from the news sub forum (as it should). It also features a couple of select sales threads, which in my opinion should not appear. Seems there should be more marker technical references for various marker types featured. Maybe a PbNation technical series is in order? Drive some website discussion and traffic as well as youtube traffic and discussion?
I would also like to see cool projects from the voided warranty and custom markers forums (I think these two forums should be combined as well.) Also featuring works by guys in the community like cs900, Ydna, Lurker, Super_Stanchy and anodizers like Tonsixer and MaToCa so people can see what is possible in a custom marker / marker customization in general. Put the communities "best foot" forward I guess you could say. (Sorry if I missed you! There are many talented people)
Also filters like how subscriptions to sub-reddits work on reddit. As an example; If I don't want to see what's going on in a perticular manufacturer subforum I should be able to remove it.
From a performance standpoint;
The extra ad impressions make the page load slowly through the ad server(s). This is obviously no fault of your own, you obviously can't control them, just an observation. I understand that the site absolutely needs the ads to function and exist, I just think there should be less of them on the new homepage
. Would 1 less or 2 less ads be enough to have the page load quickly again? That part is unknown but as it is now it takes an additional 25-30 seconds to load which is a lifetime in the internet realm. Before you ask I am on a business internet connection that consists of several bonded T1's and I am alone in the office in the morning so it's not a bandwidth bottleneck on my end.