Concerning the whole forum vs. list question...
The same information is gathered in both, the only big difference is in
You could divide the forums into several general sections with subsections:
Basic Information (usually several stickies)
Read This First (stickies again)
Known Problematic Hardware
Development (protected and hidden, for development staff)
(I'm not a developer, don't know what you'd need)
I find the structure of the forum method much easier to glean
information from. When searching for something I can search individual
forums, narrowing my returns. If I finally get my hardware in line I
can just pay more attention to the Software forum, etc.
I think the forum structure, as a by product, also makes website
maintenance easier. When I new version comes out, just put a quick
annoumcement on the main index page and link to a forum post in the
Announcements forum. Less muss and fuss with the website.
In the end it's a matter of user preference....personally I think a
forum just provides more structure.