Merry Christmas, everyone.
First of all, thank you all for providing your feedback. All your voices have always been very important. I can relate to both sides of the argument: those who are annoyed by some occasional newbie flooding the forum with fluff in record time just to get to the minimum post count that allows them to use the marketplace and those who'd get annoyed by the same limitation as it would turn them off if they wanted to post more.
Steve, you joined the community in 2009. It was 4 years ago (or 12 in Internet years). A lot has changed and forums have faced a new reality: they've started to get attacked by spam bots and human spammers like never before. If you look at all the other hosting forums out there, chances are - you will see a lot of spam. I'd think THAT ruins communities, not the initial temporary posting limitations for new members.
In fact, we've always had some sort of limitations. The marketplace restrictions of posting 1 ad per 7 days, the qualification restrictions (25 posts and 14 days of active membership), the registration restrictions to help us fight against spam bots (you don't see them, but we've had them for years), most recently manual verification of new accounts.
Professionally run forums out there are always evolving, even DigitalPoint which I've always thought of as a hub for exactly those type of members. Today they require some kind of validation process (by other established members on top of that) before you can start a thread in the advertising forums. Others have time restrictions on when new members are allowed to start a thread (anywhere on the forum), others have signature restrictions, etc.
The majority of new members join HostingDiscussion to eventually earn their right to advertise their services as well. However, even if they are allowed to post 25 posts in 25 minutes, they still need to wait 14 days for the permissions to allow them to post an ad. Everyone has to wait. But given the trend of some new members who still want to spam through 25 quick posts and then come back in 2 weeks to an account that's ready to go, it ruins the experience for everyone else. And I am big on experience. Most people will rarely have the reason to post more than 10 posts per day, so even if we could spread those 25 posts over a 3-5 day period, the return effect will be a positive one.