I think it may come across as scary for a number of reasons:
a) there is so much knowledge on here (intimidating if you have never experienced VR before)
b) we all have a vested interest in the school we choose for our kids..... and therefore
c) our opinions of other schools can hurt/offend other parents
d) if you have been on here a long time you are used to the banter and strong opinions - must admit, I see some exchanges and think "ouch"
e) a lot of posts are conjecture about issues (thinking of igcse thread recently, and 2 yr/3 yr GCSE courses). Of course none of us know the full facts unless we work there!
f) mumsnet has officially called this place the scariest forum on the internet! (No I have never been on there, just heard that from a friend - honest!)
That said, as a relative newcomer, I enjoy the forum, probably more from a psychological viewpoint. I am worried though that I am becoming a little obsessed with it and check for new posts regularly, maybe I should self-analyse myself!