It does seem like this place can be intimidating for new members, at least compared to what other forums I know. Someone else was talking about this a few months ago.
Intimidating, perhaps, without being nearly as toxic/mean-spirited as other places. But maybe its just me.
What would be more intimidating to newcomers: A bunch of members that seem to align themselves into a central pack, or a bunch of adversarial members that stick to their own guns rather than cosy up?