Thanks for the discussion. I think what I'm hearing is that, if ADVrider didn't already exist and you wanted to create it today, Cake would be the place to do so. Is that vaguely correct? Like a discussion forum, it's focused around conversation, but unlike prior discussion forums, there's ways to create differing types of discussions (like panels--great idea) and of course Cake is not inherently topic-centric.
I think the tough meta-issue is that newbies stumbling into Cake (like me) have a hard time understanding what's here, who's here, and most importantly should I join and jump in? With topic-centric sites like ADVrider it's more obvious--if you're into adventure riding, that's the place. I'm still trying to figure out if there's an equivalent statement for Cake.