With the latest vBulletin upgrade I have made some changes in order to take advantage of the new feature in the software, the ability to keep promoted main page discussions as the forum thread it was original posted (previously, main page article comments are split from the same forum threads). The main change is allowing posts by anonymous / unregistered users in the forums, with moderator approval.
I realize this is going the other way against calls on the site/forums to get rid of anonymous comments and not everyone will be fond of the idea but I feel this adds more consistency and simplicity to the site as a whole. Turning on moderator approval for main page posts has greatly diminished the number of off-topic, troublemaking and personally abusive comments.
As always, the site is constantly changing, this may be one change that turns out to be not that noticeable. If, over the long term, it does not appear to work out I can revert it back to the previous setup.
Thanks as always to the contributors on the site and the mods for helping out with a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff in keeping the site going.
UPDATE, Apr. 1, 8:18PM PT:
Hack added to the vBulletin software so that anonymous / unregistered users may be added to or removed from the ignore list.
Instructions to add (direct link):
1. Go to Settings (top of page) -> Edit Ignore list (left nav).
2. Add the user name 'Unregistered Users'.
Posts from anonymous / unregistered users will then be hidden.