I use Firefox with an ad blocker and I never see an ad on the Ledge.
I also have a direct link to the forums bookmarked. I never go to the homepage of the site. (Is there a homepage on the site?) I never have to wait to get into the forums page. It's pretty much, click the link, I'm in.
As for Facebook and Twitter, the problem is the superficiality of the "discussion." Here's a typical FB post: "I saw Lindsey & Christine last night and they were awesome." Here on the Ledge you get longer posts, more in depth commentary, MUCH more interesting dialogue.
It is very literally true that the existence of the Ledge (and, before that, the message board on the old Christine site around the time of the release of 'In the Meantime') has sustained my interest in this band. Without having the in depth and thoughtful discussion here, I honestly think my interest in Fleetwood Mac altogether would have waned long ago.
As for the fact that some folks here are a little rude sometimes, are fans really that thin skinned that they can't take a little silly insulting of their musical heroes? If that's the case, that's really kinda sad. I'd much rather have that than sycophantic hero worshipping.
-Joanne (from Cape Cod)