Hey, I find it interesting! I was around for when SMS sprung up and you're pretty right, I recall Mike founding it as a more family-friendly SatAM forum and also as refuge from some of the drama that was going on here at the time. I'm a bit sad that activity over there has dropped off, but I'm grateful that Porpoise is still keeping the lights turned on. I didn't know that FUS had danced as close to the fire though as you describe... guess I'm a latecomer (I started hanging around in '05 or '06)
Anyway, I'll steer myself back on topic: I don't see anything off-putting about them as after all, FUS is a pretty mature community in terms of average age per active member, and none of them are any more vulgar than anyone saying 'fuck' or 'shit' in a post anyway, so, meh.
Also, who even still uses emoticons, anyway. Sooooo 2000s.