For those wondering what happened, and in the hopes of heading off a stream of redundant posts, please allow me to explain what caused the recent disruptions to the site, and to offer my apologies for the inconvenience inflicted on so many people.
The server housing the main portion of the site suffered a catastrophic hardware failure and needed to be completely reinstalled. No data was lost, although the complete reinstall proved unexpectedly eventful.
The DNS servers for the site happened to be housed on this machine as well, which soon caused the other servers to drop off the Internet.
They were soon restored, but as a result of the interruption and reconfiguration they had to re-propagate throughout the tens of thousands of DNS servers which hold the Internet's domain name system together, a process which can take mere minutes in the case of many servers, but unfortunately with slower ISPs or results which are cached on the user's machine can take days to be refreshed. Patience is all that is required to fix this issue, although complaining to an ISP probably helps as well.
This accounts for the apparent inaccessibility of all or part of the site many worried users began reporting - as good a story as they might make, rumours of the site being censored by the powers that be are wholly without basis in fact.
The forums also suffered a series of technical issues as a result of the reinstall, and this accounts for their absence over the period.
Steps have been taken to ensure no future re-occurrence of this particular disaster - once again, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience and evident worry inflicted on users finding the site to be unavailable.