I didn't like the tone in driver threads, but the threads themselves were useful.
I agree. And it's us, the users who make the tone.
I don't agree with what have been said before about the percentage of the trolls and flamers. Actually there are a handful of them, easily detectable and known to all who visit a given thread on regular basis. Those people are clever enough to avoid braking the paramount rule of not discussing moderation and administration, but hidden behind the right of opinion and freedom to express it, they provoke the rest into an endless spiral of exchange, leading to nowhere and sometimes even to braking that rule by otherwise goodhearted posters due to frustration.
Right of opinion -OK, right of expression - OK, but if that opinion is repeated in an obsessive manner causing the thread to practically restart and only grow in size, then IMHO such people should be sided in the name of preserving the good tone and respect to each other.
While I think a general thread about a given driver is an useful thing for minor facts and data, not worthy of a separate one, they are highly dependent on users good will and need more attention from the mods. So I understand the argumentation behind the decision of banning driver threads.
It's a matter of finding the right balance which is not an easy task. And needs some effort on both sides. Sometimes it's wiser and a sign of maturity to skip a flaming post and consequently leave a troll highly disappointed.
Personally, since my favorite driver left, I don't quite notice the absence of those threads. If someone created now 22 separate thread about each driver, very soon only 5 or 6 will remain on the first page among the active threads. The rest will simply sink down due to lack of or very little interest.