In regards to the suggestion of a shallow pool/newcomers forum, it has been tried before. What happens is the n00bz don't want to venture out of it, this whole newcomers culture sort of forms, and oldtimers get pissed, because they can't rape and pillage as they wish there.
Plus, the level of moderation and rules is such it requires actual time and energy from anyone foolish enough to volunteer to Mod it, and the whole thing goes south quick.
Because in essence you are creating another forum.
However, there are other forums that have "safe" topics, in which any and all insults, criticizing or mocking is strictly forbidden, in the topic, so people can open up about sensitive matters without suffering a 4chan style surprise.
Again, these topics become wildly popular, because they are safe, and sometimes resemble an entire forum, in a single topic.