Jay, if it’s “resource intensive and … hard to maintain” now, I’m guessing that it could only get worse as time goes on. Do what you need to do. I didn’t join to accumulate ranking points and badges, I joined for the discussion, for what I could learn, and occasionally, what I might contribute. Anything else is icing on the cake.
As long as it keeps the basic structure: categories, new topics, replies, ability to link other pages and previous posts, send private messages, etc., we could all learn to rassle the rest of it. Heck, we’re preparing for a lot worse.