Agreed on all your points. I like HF since there's so much communication going on, but it's gotten to the point where I automatically check a person's profile to do a first pass of their credibility (and sometimes check their past posts). There's a lot of ridiculous stuff like people who main $100 gear cavalierly commenting on $5000+ gear, like people with low-end Senns and Sonys talking about R10s and SR009s like they're best buddies. Unfortunately you need to pay to play, but that's why there are so many regional meetups, so people can have a chance to listen to gear without any dealer pressure.
Another thing I'm noticing is a lot of hostility towards other views (from psychoacoustics to music preferences), and those threads go on for pages before a mod finally steps in to tell people to knock it off. It's often the native English speakers, not the ESLs, who are the most belittling.
I think a lot of threads would be improved if people weren't afraid of losing face, and admit that they have no direct experience with the gear they're commenting on. I think it's great that there's so much thread participation, but misinformation doesn't help. I hear things used to be a lot more civil, and some of the most informative threads I've run across are dated back to 2006-08.