Yes, Dean, read count (#16) would be a great boon to the site, inviting more participation, I think.
Showing current readers of a thread would be also be good, to the same end. Perhaps that is not feasible, however, with this site's framework.
The uniqueness of the appearance of this site---due to its unique creation by Joe, if I'm not mistaken---remains one of its attractions. And that appearance is a very attractive one. To have extended these posting tools is a boon.