These threads always bothered me and I hope I'm not pushing any buttons when I say I will not miss them.
I am sorry that the lounge is going away but not so much that it's a deal breaker, as the sort of regular who finds too much conversation exhausting I never really took advantage of the semi-private space the lounge afforded to be more open about some of the things I'd talk about if was a little more extroverted. but it always felt nice that I could have if I wanted to.
Having said that, I'd like to add my vote of confidence in the new system (Insert Kent Brockman "I for one..." image here), and my confidence lies not necessarily in the new direction bb wants to take the bbs but in Discourse itself. I feel its a really good platform that has worked really well for everybody irrespective of their trust level, I believe @codinghorror has put a lot of thought into it and it shows. It was great even before the first TL3 user was promoted. Furthermore the community BB attracts has always been great through its many iterations, which leads me to believe that while shutting down the semi-private space that was the lounge is a net loss, it is not the end of bbs as a community.
The way the lounge was used may have been unintended but the idea of tiered access to a communications platform based on trust is brilliant. Ahead of its time even, but the criteria for reaching TL3 always felt too arbitrary, that @grey_devil was not a "regular" and that somehow I was is a crime and something that needs to get better before it can be deemed successful. On that point, and that point alone, I'm OK with declaring the experiment with TL3 a failure and I'll let it go... for now.