I enjoyed the presentation by Bob Dunn
User: Membership Site Lessons - Challenges and Insights.
One reason I liked it was because of his relaxed, personal style. He is a regular guy trying to make a living with his membership site. He explained some of the trials and tribulations of building and managing a membership site using WordPress.
One thing I found interesting was that he didn't touch the code (except maybe a little css, now and then). It seemed to be the room's consensus that "users" of WordPress do not usually touch the code.
When I recently discovered the wonders of WordPress I immediately jumped into the underground machinery that makes it all work. I can't help myself. It's vast and more complex than I first imagined. I thought I could just draw up some flow charts and such to understand how it all works.
It's interesting that the Portland Meetup consists of two groups: users and developers. I like both groups. I can understand why the users may not want to go to a programmers' meeting. I consider myelf both a user and a developer. This distinction reminds me of the distinction between designer and developer. Where does one end and the other begin? There is no clear boundary.