I sort of agree with Greg (Alpine Zone), that it gives people a bit more personality on a pretty impersonal setting. However, I also agree that they could be abused and just take up bandwidth. When I try to access the site during lunch at work, with all of the firewalls they have, it is already pretty slow. I have the feeling that if they were turned on, I'd probably just look at them once in a while, to see what people are using, but then turn them off to speed things up and remove the clutter.
BTW, for those that complain that they wouldn't want to see them because of the excess clutter, even if AC enabled them, each person has the option to turn them off when you view the forums, by going to the User CP and unchecking a box.
My personal opinion would be to enable them, but set the view default to off. And if people want to use and/or view them, they can turn theirs on.
Thanks for the response AC.