I find Whirlpool too overly moderated at times and also the posters can be very nasty. They do have a busy forum though so it's good if you are looking for a quick busy discussion on nearly any subject from news to travel or IT.
AustraliaForums.com.au is a friendly and welcoming forum that is not overly moderated as the discussions are usually friendly and the members seem to enjoy it there. It's a lot more personal that forums like Topix or Whirlpool plus you are able to have a more personal experience including the use of the following features, signatures, links out, avatars, images and a lot more.
I will update this article with more information on Australian forums as it comes to hand.