I agree with @Matias, if you keep the awesomeness of SE yet have a non-Q&A version for discussions only, you could take the forum world by storm. Especially if you offer a barrier-free way for existing forums to switch (make it free and possibly automate a data migration).
Having said that, it does seem that website forums for the sake of discussion are under attack with so much conversation happening in social networks nowadays.
By the way, I'm not sure if you're aware but many readers of Scott Adam's blog (creator of Dilbert) suggested SE when he opted for the idea of an online government. You should be proud of that even if that idea is far fetched. You're doing extremely well, and I know that you know you're doing well with SE, it's just that SE probably has a lot more potential then you perhaps realize or imagine.