Most of this functionality is complete now, although not all is public and some things still need some work (if you are reading this in anything other than Mozilla or a feed reader, you probably don't need the flaws in the design pointing out). In trying to accomplish the above list I made a mistake, and I'll briefly recount this experience now.
The problem with the above list is not that I should have avoided doing any one of them, but I shouldn't have tried to do everything at once. Earlier this week I made the first 'normal' update I have been able to apply to the live site, (If you are interested to know, the current site version is shown in the footer of all pages) and since then I've made one update at the end of each day. However before that time the differences in the page layout, database and code meant that it was difficult to make any updates at all. So, had I (for example) redesigned the code behind the scenes first, whilst maintaining the generated HTML structure the same; this process would have been a lot smoother. The way it worked out every improvement I made in development had to wait until the diverging code reached a point where it was stable enough to publish.
The purpose of this post was primarily to point out that the site hasn't been forgotten about. At the moment I took anything that isn't 1.2 code and at least partly functional offline but stay tuned for updates, I'm looking forward to add both functionality and content for the site.
ps. One thing I'll tag on the end of this post is that I've added Gravatars and (some) html for comments - I've found cakePHP sanitization protection to be quite effective against XSS tests thus far :D. Oh and a valid email is exactly that; [email protected] won't (or at least shouldn't) be accepted.