Yeah, I remember the site looking like that when I joined until one of the vBulletin upgrades a year or two later. I remember the admins because of the Morpheus and cow avatars, people like Tribunal, MentallyCritical, Naxi, that one guy with the cartoon robot avatar that had the green eyes (Trinity?), and some others but it's been so long, damn.
I know we also had several different groups of active members: RPG fans, Nintendo fans, Xbox fans etc. Something I liked about the community was that it wasn't only PlayStation fans. I always felt that helped us stand out from the official PlayStation forums but some users were against that multi-platform approach to discussions. Back then, it was like, users argued about how the Xbox and Nintendo forums should be sub-forums, not forums, or just disappear altogether. It wasn't perfect but it was good enough. A lot of fanboy stuff but yeah, new management just doesn't give a shit about anything other than the news site. And it's obvious they don't pop in to give us an update because who is left to read anything? At this point they should just get it over with and shut the forums down.