Having the post count visible is just one of those things a forum MUST have. It is just like having a blog without any titles: just giant slabs of information everywhere that nobody knows what its talking about << you may get what I am saying here or you might not know wtf I'm talking about.
Essentially, having the post count visible is just what forums do. To take it away would be killing a part of the forum. People post on general chat section when they are bored and have no-where else on the forum to post (well atleast I do). Maybe if instead of complaining about general chat, we should just man up and start conversation in more important sections of the forum.
For people who don't like general chat, they can either:
i) accept it for what it is and make the best of it.
ii) disable general chat in user CP so it is as if it does not exist.
I don't understand why people would complain so much about an issue like this unless they actually cared about post count themselves and did not like people running up post count in general chat. (I am not one of these people but do suspect a few myself But I have just accepted it and moved on.
Don't count general chat posts, for people who don't like general chat, disable general chat in the user CP so it is not visible when you click unread posts. It will be as if general chat does not exist. Therefore people who don't like general chat are happy.
For people who like posting in general chat, they will be happy because there won't be people complaining about how crap general chat is.
For people who like running up their post count in general chat, these are the only people that are affected in a negative way which is GOOD because that is not what NB is about, if they want to still do this, go over to DP so essentially this group is happy to.
Summing up, disable post counts in social groups + general chat and everyone is happy. If people are still unhappy after this then move up to the next level.
We should not automatically do the most extreme thing by disabling post counts. Ultimately, the decision is up to Will but I thought I would make my opinion clear before any decisions eventuate.