I initially hated the new forum. And while there are aspects I still dislike (which was true in the old forum too) I have come around and now prefer this new one.
What changed for me is that I stopped trying to use it in the same manner as the old forum . In the old forum I used to monitor a half dozen or so sub-forums, going from one to another everyday to see what’s new. Trying to do that on this new forum I find fairly cumbersome & certainly played a big part in hating the forum.
So I stopped trying to navigate like that. Instead I went into the forum’s Preferences and Muted all the Categories except for the Categories that corresponded to the old sub-forums I used to follow. Now it only shows me those posts and nothing else - which as far as ‘what’ I see is the same as it was on the old forum. Except now I don’t have to jump between sub-forums to see them. I just go to the “Latest” tab, scroll down until I reach the red last-visited line and start reading posts bottom to top. Now it typically takes me a third or so less time to scan/read/reply to posts than it did on the old forum.
Once I stopped trying to make the new forum behave like the old one, it got a lot better.
And there are things in the new forum that are so much better from the get-go. The most significant imho is that it is so simple to embed quotes and pictures in posts. It used to be something like “…it’s the button that looks like space aliens herding goats” where now, in less time I can snag a screen grab and circle that button & post it - or even copy and paste an image from anywhere.
Laugh if you like but that is what space aliens look like
This has already drastically improved the quality of responses to how-to questions. It has also made problem solving easier because folks can ask for and see specific configurations etc.