First off, steer away from having the left column on the forums, it'll just clutter things up. It's good right now, though I'm not a big fan of the color scheme.
As for the site, it's not very accessible, and it's very cluttered. Parts of the design are very messy, and even in some cases pretty bad to look at. It's outdated. Newer sites are all about getting the content out there, right out to the viewers, not loading as much as you can in unorganized side panels. I'll think of a basic design, and draw it up for you so my post actually has a bit more use, but I'm hoping I'm helping you into the right direction.