I thought one reason for the Pit was to keep the rest of the place civil? Taking away the Pit won’t end the hostility. You don’t need to be able to directly insult anyone to be a douchebag – people will find ways to do so and still stay with in the rules, just as we’ve had people troll over the years and still manage to avoid being banned. It happened when they changed the Pit rules. People were just as nasty – they were just a wee more creative.
And besides, the idea that someone can “turn you into a nasty troll” is absurd. We had a poster who was banned awhile ago who was known for having a horribly thin skin and a hair trigger temper. Dude would just explode at the slightest thing, even if there was no insult, or if someone didn’t even address him. He was constantly threatening people, too. And when called on it once, he told the mods that perhaps people should consider how thin-skinned he was, and take that into account.
The mods basically told him bullshit, and that was his problem. Eventually, he was banned.
My point? If your temper is such that you know you can’t deal with insults and such, it’s not the fault of the Pit. It’s very easy to avoid, and quite honestly, why should everyone else have to tiptoe around those who can’t deal with it? I think the Pit often provides a way to keep arguments out of the rest of the place. shrug