This has been interesting reading.
Personally, I think archiving and consolidating is the way to go. The forums and site(s) need to be sized for the current population, and free to grow in whatever direction the community takes. The number of sites and the current organization of the forums are a product of the era and what was appropriate at that time to support of the volume of activity.
At this point keeping the forums as they are needlessly keeps the different parts of the community separate. Consolidating the forums I think would help get the site closer to a critical mass. As well that would allow the site to more easily grow in the directions then will be relevant in the future.
As for me. I just pop in every now and then to see what is going on and what old friends have done the same. The fact that a lot of us old guard still do that at least I think is a testament to how strong the community was back then. So I have an interest in trying to turn the site back into a growth direction, and I'm willing to invest some time in it if we can decide on the direction.