Messaging shouldn't be hard, but it is. The platform we're using replaced simple messaging with a whole host of facebook-like modules. I'm not going down that road right now, but might in the future. Here's what we have right now. If you're logged in, you'll see a new Message Center area at the bottom of this page. It seems to be pretty stable and have the functionality you'd want.
Here's the catch -- when you compose a message and add the user you want to send to, it is doing autocomplete off of the user display name, NOT the username. The username is the name you know from the forum. The display name is something that folks entered at registration and you never see. How do you find out the display name? You can now find out someone's display name by clicking on their name next to the post and going to their profile. The display name is the part after the "|". Why not just have a "send message to user" button on the user's profile? Yeah, that would be ideal. A couple of hours later and I still haven't been able to do that. If someone reading this happens to have a good working knowledge of the DNN platform and knows how to enable that, please let me know. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with that information.
User Profiles are only visible to people who are logged in. They expose the following information - username, display name, profile picture (which nobody but me has uploaded yet), state, country, biography. I could also add the email address to the profile, but didn't think that would be a good idea. In any event, you should probably check your user profile and make sure it has stuff you want on it.
That's where we are as of now. Hopefully better later, but I need to move on to other things.
ETA: We do still have the old site which you'll be able to log into in perpetuity to look at your old PM threads. That is currently available at http://old.hillpeoplegear.com, but it will be moving to a different URL probably next week.