Having spent many years in the online biz, I certainly understand the need for a company to focus its resources where they get the most "bang for the buck," as well as staying current and relevant. (I've seen what happens to companies that don't.)
That being said, I would prefer to work with Usenet for reading and replying to messages for one reason: my time. With Usenet, I have a client that does all the online work for me, putting the messages on my local machine, allowing me to read and write asynchronously, with no latency between messages.
With a web forum, I have to use the mouse to click on links, then wait while the page is fetched and rendered before I can start reading. When I want to reply, I click a link, then wait for another page to be fetched and rendered with a message box for typing my response; when I'm done typing, I click again, and I have to wait until the host has received and processed the response before I can continue.
Using a local client on my machine allows me to avoid the mouse, working solely with the keyboard, which is faster. The client fetches the message threads for me, and I can navigate between messages as fast as I can press keys. If I want to reply to a message, one keystroke opens the reply form immediately, and when I'm done editing, another keystroke sends the message in the background while read the next message. Also, if there's a message that I want to save for the future, one keystroke will flag it to be retained on my machine (with the web interface, I have to save to PDF or some other format).
I realize I'm not a typical user, and I've accepted that I have to adapt. And I have found some ways that *I* can multitask with multiple tabs to mitigate the latency. However, it would be nice if I could have the computer do that work for me.