I love the atmosphere here on KH and I check in here regularly . . . but I also spend a lot of time on Ravelry, and that's usually the first place I visit when I get up in the morning and look at my computer.
I'm not very active on the forums there, but I enjoy reading them; there's all sorts of great information there, some knitting related and some not. I know there can be controversial stuff there; I tend to avoid that. But I don't feel overwhelmed by the forums because it's easy for me to pick and choose what I want to read.
When I first decided to join Ravelry (and I waited a long time, believe me) I was certain I would only use it to look up patterns and yarn information. I had ZERO interest in joining groups and chatting on the forums, and I didn't care to use Ravelry to organize my stash.
Then I discovered how much fun it was to photograph my yarn and enter it in my Ravelry notebook. I've joined a few groups, but I'm not much of a chatterbox. I have used the ISO/Destashing group to buy, sell, and trade yarn -- that's a lot of fun!
But I agree that Ravelry and KH are two very different places. I think that when Ravelry was still small people hoped/believed the atmosphere there would stay purely warm and friendly -- the way it is here on our KH forum. Too bad, that hasn't been the case. So it's wonderful to have a place like this as a knitting refuge. Most of the time you'll get nothing but friendly responses to your questions on Ravelry . . . but on KH you can be absolutely sure
no one is going to bite your head off!