To add my 2 cents (not that it's worth that much anyway).
Good thread. I think it's just our nature to want to be appreciated for the work we do, whether that's a pat on the back from your boss, your wife complimenting you at a party or having a thank you recognition on forums. However, throughout our day we all fall victim to lack of appreciation, both giving and receiving, and that shouldn't set us back. I believe that most people appreciate the help and advice given on the forum, and most show that appreciation in the form of a thank you, however whether at work, home or on the forum, we are resonsible for our own satisfaction of doing a good job, being proud of the new table we built, or giving an awesome reply, whether or not the primary recipient acknowledges or not.
Specific to the forum. Your advice, while perhaps specific to an individual at that point in time, may help many, many more without you even knowing. The reach of the forum is far greater than you can imagine, and while it may not be indicated by everyone, the information and advice that you give helps people you will never even know.
A short example of this, then I will stop:
I've been doing this RedSquare thing for a long time. I have received many thank you's (even indirectly in this thread) for so many aspects of the forum, from the civility, layout, ease of use and of course the information it contains, which is ironic because YOU created this information not me. I also receive the brunt of the criticism as well, so it's not all butterflies and rainbows. It was at the Big Show a couple of years ago when a man approached me. I had never met him, and he is a member on the forum. He sought me out (I'm not very outgoing myself) JUST to say thank you. It turns out that he had been in the hospital for an extended time, and RedSquare provided him an outlet for all that he was going through. A way to get away from the trials of hospital stays. He wasn't grateful for any one thing specific but for everything in the entirety and he was very grateful for the site in general.
The point of this example is simply that with that one gesture, each and every contributor here was thanked and you never even knew it. I don't believe that this man went to every thread and pressed the like button, or said thank you to a single post. He didn't create a new topic saying how reading this forum helped him pass the time and take his mind off of what he was going through showing everyone directly his appreciation. However, with that one thank you, which I selfishly accepted, you were all appreciated and never even knew it. Your efforts matter!
So don't dismiss the individual effort as a sign of the times, degradation of society or lack of appreciation, but know that whether or not you are directly thanked, your advice, pictures, crazy antics and posts like this are greatly appreciated by someone you will never know. A significant part of this forum etiquette is set by our members. When people read polite, well structured and kind posts, they reply and participate in the same manner. So set the example, be the way you want to see others be and they will follow.
So this post has run its course and will remain locked. Opinion posts are always welcome here, and the respect of everyone's opinion (whether you agree or not) is appreciated (even if I didn't say Thank You, so Thank You.