This is the first time I've ever seen a group scanlating seinen or shounen, demand 5 posts before letting you access the downloads. As a matter a fact most seinen/shounen groups give you IRC, mediafire/depositfile/megaupload links, online reader and sometimes a torrent, all at once, demand free.
Now many shoujo groups have a "post X times to access our scan"; but they're usually run by pathetic fujoshi wannabe's with mod=god syndrome, dreaming of becoming the Queen of an active forum where they're popular and their word is law. Now and then they'll get a few spammish "thank you, you rock" posts by people who don't give a rats ass, but are willing to fake it to get at the scanlation (usually yaoi).
So what's your reason? Dreams of an active forum just for you, and if someone wants to read Yoshida sensei's work they have to suck your e-peen first? I hope you have a good reason; because if you don't have one, I'll consider your forced forum creation as a type of "payment for scans" scheme and contact 小学館クリエイティブ, just to let them know how you're using their product. The fewer unethical scanlators out there the better.
Of course if you do have a legitimate reason, I'll promptly apologize, declare myself a dink, and wish you the best of luck.
You bring up good points, and I'd been wondering that myself when I joined the team. But since no one really complained about it, the system has stuck.
Personally, I don't necessarily see having to create a forum account as a bad thing, as it adds a layer of protection (whether or not that's a good thing for the user is another matter). But yes, the 5 posts requirement does seem a bit excessive and has been the cause of some spam posts. We do not profit at all from forum account creation, so your pin regarding "payment for scans scheme" has no grounds.
All in all, maybe you could've been less scathing, but I'll just take it as a complaint nonetheless. So, I'll bring it up with don and see what he says about it.
With respect to distribution avenues, if I'm interpreting some hearsay correctly, we might be getting around to distributing to online readers sometime in the future (but don't take my word on that).
As for IRC bots: As I said before, we don't have any profit from our endeavours. Therefore, having a dedicated box for IRC-based distribution isn't exactly viable. The same goes for a dedicated seed box for torrents. (Unless you want to donate a box and some bandwidth for either of these avenues)
I can't comment on some of the other projects, since I'm only really involved in Destruction Princess at the moment, but our current use of mediafire is good enough.
Thanks for your input, and we'll see what we can do.
Never been a fan of having of forum quota. While you mentioned it's not practical for you, an IRC bot would serve better in providing dl while having a layer separating downloads from the site. I wouldn't mind having to see a few ads if that makes it possible. Just a thought, may not be worth the pain to get payment from ads set up.