I agree with most of what OP is saying here, but I don't think the issue is the "tangents," I think it is the lack of decorum, which may or may not be intentional. Perhaps the cause is an increased number of arrogant, thin-skinned millennials (no offense to my fellow 90's kids).
This used to be a friendly and helpful forum for moderately skilled to advanced-level brewers back when I was a more regular contributor (2010-2013). This was where you "graduated" to after you outgrew BN and NB (which is where you went after you outgrew HBT and a few more ancient forums). Now you can either get horrible advice from unemployed neckbeards on Reddit or deal with a lot of snooty unpleasantness on this forum.
This is how I see 9 out of 10 conversations go on homebrew forums these days (not just here):
OP: I'm looking into upgrading from my Mr. Beer kit that I have used for two years (it cracked!) and have about $1000 to spend, what should I do?
A1: Buy an aluminum kettle and lots of liquid malt extract. Use lots of specialty malts. Don't follow recipes. You don't want to make BMC crap!
B1: I would get a 10 gallon steel kettle if you're looking to brew 5 gal batches. Then get some bucket fermenters (2 should be enough) or carboys. If you have been brewing for a while, you may want to look into getting a kegging kit, but you will need a decent bottling bucket if you aren't kegging. You may save $$$ by buying a kit. Pay attention to fermentation management - temperature control and yeast starters will make a major improvement! After brewing a few extract batches that you are reasonably happy with, look into building a mash tun - there are lots of different styles, but I like style A (styleabrewing.com/mashtunmadeforme).
C1: The only way to brew is to custom-build this system that will take seventeen engineers and $400,000. B's beer tastes like cat puke because he doesn't have use a tachyon emitter to ionize the atmosphere to hide his IBUs from the Romulan probe. Don't fall into that trap. Here's 4,000 pages of science, most of it is in German, but if you can't figure out what they mean with Google translate, then you shouldn't be brewing, anyway.
D1: Buy a kit!
B2: @C, OP can't read German and he didn't say anything about owning a starship, give it a rest.
C2: Science science science. B can't handle the science of his awful beer.
E: I agree with A - go aluminum. Excellent strength to weight ratio!
C3: Aluminum will work acceptably if you oxidize it properly. Theorhetically, boiling dihydrogen monoxide can make this happen for you. Make sure you manage this well with chemicals because of science.
F: I agree with what B is saying, except I have had no need for yeast starters because I use dry yeast. And don't go with aluminum, it's a lot more hassle for a little less money. I got a bad metallic flavor from my old aluminum kettle and now it just takes up space in the garage. Here's the kit I would recommend: (homebrewshoponothersideofmoon.com/greatkit). C's adherence to the brewing doctrine of the DS9-era Tal Shiar is unproven sci fi and most people want more lens flair.
OP2: Ok, I bought this kit (www.evilhomebrew.com/terriblekit) I can't wait to brew this pliny kit. It cost me $300 for the ingredients, so if it doesn't come out perfect, I am quitting the hobby. Thanks for the help, A and E!
In this instance, C isn't being helpful because they are offering advanced Roddenberrian brewing advice to a relative newb. B is trying to be helpful, but OP is getting directed to doing "what sounds the easiest" rather than "the best they can manage" because of the needless nagging and bragging by C. I, for one, am fascinated by what the LODO community has to say, and I would like to learn more about it and try some experiments to see if the extra effort is worth it. But instead of simply putting together a digestible website to showcase their approach, we get a lot of highly technical arguments that are unnecessary in posts from newbs and moderate-level brewers. This leads to an argument from someone who takes a less technical approach and it has lead to a generally less friendly and easy-going forum.