That's exactly how I feel! The extra hop almost defeats the purpose of being a premium user since every time I open a new browser session (which happens often when using an RSS reader) I have to do the forum hop through. I am not going to be renewing. It's much simpler just to enable ad-block on the site.
I'm still working on a solution for it. The problem is that the forums are powered by vBulletin while the rest of the site is powered by my in-house PHXCMS system, so there's integration issues to address.
Do what you need to in order to keep the site running, but at least make it easier for those who are premium like me. I have AdBlock enabled, and I have absolutely no bad feelings about blocking your ads as I first visit the homepage. Every single time, I visit the homepage, click forums, then click my bookmark for the homepage again, to "sign in" as premium. I'm almost used to it now, that's how badly you've trained me Michael. :P
The existing Phoronix Premium Users would really welcome:
# an improvement or just the pure existance of (automated) login (always have to visit the forums first)
And Michael, you told us about working on a solution years ago. Now what is about the state of that solution? You (and we all) complain a lot about e.g. VIA's GPU driver situation but as it seems we can't get rid of our own problems.
# have some actual "premium content"*, that "Premium" forum does about nothing
*"premium content" is a horrible word(s), I know
And I know others wrote that already (and years before probably) but see this as a reminder and a sign that more and more people like to have a solution!
I've been a premium user for some time time now (I'm on my third renewal), and this still isn't fixed. I don't mind too much, I think supporting phoronix is important, Michael does great work on other fronts, but let's face it: the current premium scheme sucks, and basically defeats the one advantage you get with premium.
Currently you have to do all of this to get what you should on first click:
Wait for page with ads to load
Wait for forums to load
Click Back in browser
Wait for page with no ads to load
Click "View as Single Page"
Wait for single page article to load
So that's 4 extra clicks and 3 extra page loads that should not be needed.
I think this is specially sucky because when you subscribe you think this works, only after you pay do you get this nice surprise, so It's even worse.