Actually, that's a really fitting analogy. Except that I only spent hours following this thread, as opposed to years. And in both cases, in the end I found it rewarding. Be forewarned- I'm a Lost fan.
Allow me to extend your analogy. Yes, this thread is a jumbled mess, and yes at times it made no sense. So why are we even here? Why do we were our time reading it? What brings us together?
The answer, of course, is us. The characters. While there may not be any kind of real story in here, and whatever theme there may have been in the beginning was dropped pretty quickly, there's some damn good character development. And to me, that's fulfilling. Its why I love Lost, and it's why I love this message board.
As long as it entertains someone, I am pleased.