Jay, you might remember you and I discussed the clunkiness of this forum structure when it was still being established, before this forum was even opened to the public. We agreed that the time would come when it would be right to change over to a better system. I agree that time has come and endorse your idea to make the change. Awards and merits are less important than the functionality of the forum. Go with the one that offers the best flexibility and lightens the work load.
Bugs Bunny: "I speak softly, but I carry a big stick."
Yosemite Sam: "Oh yeah? Well I speak LOUD! and I carry a BIGGER stick! and I use it, too!" BAM!