Hacker News is the most civil, useful and intelligent conversation on the internet, period. HN is easily two standard deviations less cruel or petty than any other discussion site you could name. The rest of the internet makes us look like Miss Manners.
I'm sorry that people weren't supportive of your personal projects, sw007. But do you have any idea how much worse things would have been on reddit? TechCrunch comments? God forbid, 4chan?
HN is an amazing resource and I'm glad to have it. The top comment is always 1) the other side of the argument being presented in the story or 2) information from someone on the inside (ie, "I work at fb and here is what is really going on"). If there's any online discussion site that's significantly more positive than Hacker News, I'd love to hear about it.
It's still the best you're going to get on any public forum I'm aware of.
> TechCrunch comments?
And those have real Facebook identities attached to everyone. I'm amazed at the things people will say even when it has their name on it and will be out there forever.