Welcome --- I think!!
We can hope that it will be a positive move, but VerticalScope owning over 300 forums sites might get a little hairy and hopefully we wont get lost in the crowd.
A couple other forums in other fields that I belong to have been absorbed by VerticalScope and one in particular has been far from seamless though it has gotten a little better lately after 2-3 years. As far as the pop up and commercials, there is some very good ad blocking software that you can use at least with Firefox.
Quando omni flunkus, moritati (When all else fails, play dead - R Green)