An MC heavy perspective:
Earlier on, there were many members who migrated to this site from other sites or just found it searching for answers to questions & general info re clothing. There were long, lively, informative discussions regarding clothing, rules of dress, different styles, etc. with the intended purpose of elevating one's own style sense and in turn, helping others to do the same. The amount of knowledge shared was only rivaled by the amount of people willing to learn a thing or three. Knowledge about things that seem elementary to most long-time members now. Knowledge re who-makes-what-for-whom, etc., and to be honest, many of us would never have given a second thought to that pair of Brooks Brothers or Lands' end shoes, or, inconspicuously pinched a coat in search of canvas, had it not been for the knowledge that they were made in England by C&J or AS, or Isaia, etc., thanks to the forum. The same extended for some to bespoken articles, many by "mystery bootmakers" or, "mystery tailors".
There were countless PSAs (Public Service Announcements) regarding sales and such shared with the fora at no cost and with no intent to capitalize. A brotherhood. Many of us bought countless pairs of shoes, etc. just so we could post pics and exclaim, Kopped!
on teh forum. We wore our purchases with pride knowing that these, yes, these, are forum approved and in many instances could identify a fellow member IRL based on the same.
When someone bought something that didn't fit, or work for them, they offered it up on the B&S boards at cost or at a loss. There was no, "add x% for paypal fees" or "do you accept refunds?" for if you bought something off of B&S that didn't work for you, you knew you could just put a line in your sig and someone else would snap it up. If you search my original SN for some of the first threads I started here, they were on B&S and I have even bumped my threads posting no more than, "bump". It was that good.
Then we reached a saturation point. There was little else those same members [thought they] needed to know about clothing. We became experts. Thus, we turned to snark. Looking down our noses at latecomers, newer members seeking the same thing we'd experienced not too long ago. We forced our own opinions down newbs throats in such a dogmatic way, it seemed only logical to comply. Or we flamed out and got banned.
PSAs became a vehicle for monetary gain; the forum descended on B&M establishments with such a fury that no longer does EG do mail order with their semi-annual sales. No longer does RL @Woodbury take phone orders, et. al. And, to top it all off, members were taking their hauls and listing them on B&S at a markup. Not a, "I need to recoup gas & tolls", markup. Exorbitant markups. Straight price gouging.
Brother turned against brother and a divide was inevitable. It may not be immediately apparent now but this is largely the tone. Such is life.
There are still those of us who try to champion the virtues [we feel] the site stands for and will do so no matter how many times we are timed out or banned. Self inclusive. This is love. This is life.