I was just checking out the PODAS website, I thought it was funny how they always show themselves next to the camera, holding the camera, pictures of the camera. That is the new culture... defined by gear.
Hmm... Did you found it funny, or threatening perhaps?
Rephrasing what Rob and others have said, there's really only one way to have a forum without any disagreement or conflict--and that's a forum of one.
I guess I'm not clear why it bothers *you* if a some group of people choose to show off their gear. Who cares if the PODAS photographers photographed themselves naked in a bathtub, writhing, covered in their own gear, slathered in oil?? (Ok, truth be told, that probably would be rather unsettling, but that's a whole 'nother discussion
-- apologies to everyone for that visual...)
If that's not what you're about, I would humbly suggest moving on--to be blunt, if you don't like gear discussions, don't participate in gear discussions!!
I hope you are not suggestiong that there aren't any other discussions going on--there are many, many illuminating conversations on a huge variety of topics, it's not
all just about "gear".
There is some irony in the statement I am about to make, but I'll make it anyway: The idea that everyone else I interact with should agree with my world-view is, to my mind, all too prevalent these days. Why not welcome other perspectives, and on those viewpoints you disagree with, give them as much airtime as you feel they are due (maybe none, maybe some), and move on, possibly enlightened, certainly informed, but hopefully without the feeling that there is a need to have those other perspectives segregated or suppressed.
I just don't think you're going to succeed at filtering out the rest of the world's opinions, unless it's not really a community you're after.
Just my 0.02,