The nature of this necroed thread (as well as the more recently locked thread) worries me.
It is my most sincere hope that FBTB, already rather quiet in comparison to larger FOL sites, does not live out the remainder of its days with its only source of 'discussion' being threads like these. I've long since given up on threads like "favorite X", "best X", "Ideas for X", etc., on Internet forums - more often than not, they are not only disparagingly redundant but completely lacking in communication between members.
The fact of the matter is that when a community numbers in the thousands you can't be bothered to care what one person's favorite whatever is, or what one person's opinion of the best whatever is. At the moment FBTB has about 4800 members. How many of these 4800 members do I know well enough to be interested in what that particular person's favorite whatever is? And among those people, how many could I expect to give an interesting enough reason for their favorite whatever that I would want to respond to it?
What's more, these kinds of threads are too damned easy to participate in. Who do I see posting most in “favorite X” threads?
-People looking to fulfill a post quota
-Posters who don't really care about participating in the community and/or tend to make overly brief posts
-Immature posters who would rather spazz than participate in serious discussion
-Kids who are old enough to have a favorite something but not mature enough to provide a solid reason (or realize that the majority does not care what that kid's favorite something is)
As a result, most “favorite X” or “best X” threads tend to degenerate into spamfests where all people do is name things, at which point keeping the thread there becomes a waste of time. It's utterly pointless, really.
It is true that with any “best X” thread there always exists the potential for someone to ask such questions as, “What is best? What criteria are we using to judge what is best? Is this method of judging the correct method?”, etc, and set into motion a Pirsigian discussion concerning the trains of object and subject running along the track of Quality, or something to that effect. Do most people care to discuss such matters, and do they feel comfortable doing so on an online forum? From my experience, no.
Granted, some of the most substantial and insightful threads I've seen do concern evaluation of a particular issue (set pricing, LEGO Friends and what it means, etc.), but rarely do they focus solely on stating what is best or what everyone prefers. Other substantial threads (the sort I enjoyed participating in in the past) are often of an informative nature with select enlightened and good-mannered individuals exchange well-mannered feedback, such as with creations. These sorts of threads are what I've always envisioned as keeping a community alive and moving it forward – the community building on the ideas of past discussions and applying them to new concerns and topics of discussion that may arise – as opposed to threads about favorite whatevers.