I agree with everything you said, but especially your points on community. Up until Imaginary Wars had opened I was largely out if the hobby. I still collected the occasional 40K model, bought relevant codexs, etc, but was largely just doing so out of habit. The gaming at IW showed me what other systems were out there, largely due to you and Curtis, such as the aforementioned Heavy Gear, and Dystopian Wars, and really rekindled my passion in the hobby.
Even more important to me is I am fairly introverted, as I would say many gamers are, and have had issues going out and meeting people. LGS, such as Imaginary Wars and Sentry Box, provide friendly open environments to go out and play games with people. Through the Friday night gaming I've met quite a few interesting people who have significantly changed my outlook on the hobby, and would not trade anything for the experiences.