Mickey, I guess that neither of us really understand what your problem is
This is what I see when I go to Camera Collector home page
Threads with unread messages show a "New" folder image on left hand side.
This is what I see on the thread page
I've never used the Reply button at the top of the thread page (never noticed it actually). I just use the Quick Reply facility or press the Reply button on right to get the full reply editor. If I want to quote the message I use the Quote button top RH of the message.
Mickey, I put many problems (whether real or imagined) down to non user-friendly programming. The classic case for me is a product of Adobe: two products actually, CS5 and Photoshop Elements. My main bone of contention is the RAW file manipulation in each system. At the bottom right of the screen there are three buttons OPEN/CANCEL/DONE. Adobe, in its wisdom, has reversed the order of the three buttons in Elements. As I use both, I sometimes find than I press the wrong button when using Elements and then sit there wondering why the file hasn't opened.
Similarly my father had great problems typing letters. He would just about get one finished then would press (what he thought was) SHIFT and (I think) T. Unfortunately he kept catching CTRL and and when the T was pressed everything would disappear. The was no way from within the programme of removing this "shortcut" and so I bent a piece of metal to fit over the CTRL key. This prevented him pressing it by accident.
By and large many computer programmes and website are badly written. Things are illogical much of the time. I am reminded of the poor quality, in terms of the written, of Japanese instruction manuals of some years back. As my bother said at the time "The Japanese are very clever, but why haven't they the common sense to employ someone to write the manual in good English so it makes sense to the reader?" I would suggest the Chinese have taken over in this regard.