if its to be avoided like a plague, it probably does mean: flaming, trolling, spamming, hate preaching, baised admins, unjust banning and god knows what other horrors lurk on their site .
i suggest ign, they have good resources for games and upcoming tv shows and such.
I frequent GameFAQs's forums, and they're... well, they have some idiots, but there are plenty of helpful people as well. Mostly, the trolls and flaming get lambasted pretty quick by everyone else on the board. Moderators, on the other hand, seem to be nonexistant, except for deleting comments perceived to be "inappropriate". It's only on the boards for really
popular games (ie, Brawl) that trolls run rampant. Most others are populated by people who actually play the game.
Besides, they have a new "Answers" system on GameFAQs: post a question, forum-goers post answers. Except that you don't actually have to go into the forums to ask it.