I was thinking the same thing, G. Doesn't make much sense to me to herd posters around like cattle dependent of their time in pasture.
I'm new here, so I don't have a great grasp of a lot of the old-head posters (yes, you gsferrari, Myrkat, Aussie, etc.), but I know from a few years experience over @ Anandtech that post count doesn't equal quality. I've seen immature posters with several thousand posts to their name. Other newbies come and they conduct themselves with aplomb. So the idea of segregating the newbies seems utter ridiculous to me (especially when it'd be difficult to increase your post count if you're not in the main boards).
As for the ports, I don't have much of an opinion either way. I don't worry too much about what the rear of the laptop looks like since I don't generally look at it (the guy sitting at the desk across from me at work sees it, but I don't care what he thinks about the styling of my ports :P ) My current Sony had a flimsy plastic flip up cover to hide the ports when not in use. To me, it's more trouble than it's worth. Spent the last couple years being uber-careful trying not to break the thing or forget that it's open. While in general, I like stylishness in a laptop, it's not a major purchase point when we get down to the brass tacks. I'd much rather have solid build than looks (when I bought the Sony, it was sight unseen, so I didn't know about the flimsy backside).
Floppies and serial ports- I can see where there's a need for those, altho' I'm generally not one that needs them. I don't personally want a floppy drive, but having one does come in handy on rare occasion (always seem to be old computers around everywhere that occasionally need a little help). And serial and parallel ports, while I don't use them, haven't quite gone the way of the dinosaur yet, so if they're not taking up space for something better, why not leave them in the machine?