Been gone for two weeks, and I must say -- I find the new layout to the worse than the old one.
Like others, I don't like the big, immovable banner up top. I rarely use those navigational tools -- especially teamap, teachef, etc. I understand Adagio might want the link to their site permanently up top, but there are better ways to do it than having this enormous banner.
Also, the subject line for each post seems a little unnecessary -- after all, 99% of them say the same "Re:.....". Of course, this just means that people are not using it, but if most people don't use it (and there's really little reason to, especially for shorter threads) is it necessary? It's eating up lots of space and entailing scrolling a lot more.
I also find the division of posts with light and dark colours to be a little weak and not as intuitive as before -- especially so in threads with lots of quotes and pictures. Combined with the lack of space, long replies with two quotes and a few pictures in between can be confusing.
Is there a way to utilize the dead space on the sides? Right now I'm basically using about 50% of my screen's space in active viewing. The rest are eaten up by the banner at the top and the two large bands on the sides. Is there a way to stretch the forum so that there isn't that dead space on the sides?
If anything, I think a better layout would be to stick the links you want permanent on the right bar with the chat feature static, while leaving the rest scrollable. I for one wouldn't mind having the chat window be there while I'm reading through the threads. One of the first casualties of this new layout is the static chat window and given how much I have to scroll, it's very quickly out of sight.