I can comment on some of the questions. Members can be searched by state (if they entered it) from the general site search (the magnifying glass symbol at the upper right). The machine used (again, if they entered it) can be searched from the membership page search. I don’t know what a search mechanism is supposed to do about variations in spelling. You can try entering partial names, like “fac” to find members who use Facette, but you’ll probably get some false hits.
I agree that we have too little activity. Any suggestions will be welcome. I really doubt that reducing the number of forum sections would help.