Sure they don't read what is right in front of them. Thats because to them the center of the screen looks like a clusterfuck of text, and is hard to distinguish at first glance (we, on the other hand, are more adept readers, so we see more quickly, because we are trained at it)
Better use of higher contrast colors would help solve the problem - ie Zebra striping on tables.
People are used to searching for information: If you want to find a site, you tend to Google for it - a nice, simple, minimal form which cries "put the text in this box".
If a large search box was placed just under the menulinks, it would become very useful in the user's mind: its not a seperate search, but more of an address bar.
As for UBB code: STFW! UBBThreads Homepage