I think all message boards have their own “personality”. It's largely a reflection of the people who post on the message boards, which the moderator can attempt to influence but honestly is essentially controlled by the regulars.
Personally, I regularly visit a handful of different running related message boards. All have their own “personality” and feel. The communities differ and the software differs (there are at least 4 different versions of forum software which I think is another good thing). I go to each one for different purposes, which makes the different styles of each very appropriate.
I'm glad you like the “personality” of the Hillrunner.com Forums. Even more, I'm glad that they are how they are because I know I don't fully have control over how they are but I do know I like their “personality”. I owe that to all the regulars who have shaped the community in such a positive way for the past nearly 8 years (WOW! Hillrunner.com turned 8 almost 3 weeks ago and the forums appeared in their original form about 4 months later) and will hopefully continue doing such a good job for many years to come.