Although it might sound strange to you and many others - probably more experienced internet users - popups are still the most effective way of advertising. The results (people that actually buy a product) with popups are still amongt the best of all advertising methods. Popups also generate a lot more revenue for webmasters compared to any other form of advertising.
Why do you think people are still spamming? Also because there are still enough people that purchase their products from spam mails. Wheter an advertisment method is annoying or not, if it's widely used you can be sure it is effective (at least on the average joe).
I do agree, popups are not the most friendly way of advertising and I hope other friendlier formats will emerge that will enable us to generate the same income as popups do now, however currently this is not yet possible. We are currently reviewing options to make this possible, I'll be able to say more about that in several months.
We are working with very decent advertising agencies, actually over the last year we have been able to work with all major players for independent websites such as FastClick, TribalFusion, Google Adsense, Quigo Adsonar, IntelliTXT, all companies with a very good reputation.
We are currently not serving any popups on the regular forum pages so I have no clue where the popups in the initial post are coming from. They should not originate from the regular forum pages (archive pages do have popup code, but these are not of any use to regular forum users). As we believe that users make our forum to what it is, we will try to make their stay as convenient as reasonable possible.
I could go into a discussion with everyone about how it's your own choice to visit our page and you don't need to accept our advertisments but you could also leave our page for what it is. Of course that is not our itention and as long as the group blocking several ways of advertisements is reasonably small we will not take any counter measurments. Just keep in mind that we do need advertisements to keep a site as big as ours up and running.
I also would like to add that I would advice to not block all cookies. Cookies also store e.g. your username and other user data so you don't have to login every time you visit a page. Cookies were never meant to intrude privacy or track your behaviour but merely to make websites more dynamic.