What Pieh and MJS said, except this:
1. The new site is a major step forwards in terms of code and usability. Some of the features, like the recent pages, is worth the upgrade alone.
Designwise it is a step backwards, though I was less than enthusiastic about our previous Princessy site. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: What is most important? Design or usability? I'd prefer both, but at the moment that seems to be outside our grasp. (In some projects I am involved in that step costs millions and millions of dollars alone, requiring thousands of hours from the design and code staff).
2. Yes, at the moment the front page seems cluttered. The avatars don't belong, I am pretty sure of that, and I'd like some more blank space... Room to breathe and to find out where I want to go and what I can do.
3. Instead of avatars, you could go with icons representing user levels. These would have matching colour schemes... preferably.
The stuff that is working on the home page right now iiiis:
- The header (down to, and including, the navigation menu)
- The footer (it only needs some pixel shifts right and left, to center it all... And you need to remove the search box from the footer)
Right now the main site looks like something the admins cooked up, to spread out commentary beyond just what everyone else is commenting on. Do you really need those categories? I say you need "Most recent subs", obviously. That list could even be longer. I remember well my annoyance at having spent 20 hours writing a sub, only to have it drowned in a deluge of MoonHunter and Scrasamax entries.
You don't need more than one random golden.
The hall of honour feature is nice, but make the icon smaller.
What about a "featured monthly graphic"? Some cool fantasy oriented graphic from the archives, or submitted by skilled artists such as MJS?