What I've always done (here and at other message boards), is search in a particular sub-forum, instead of doing a general search over the entire forums if I have an idea of what I'm looking for. The boards here have a "search this forum" feature at the for right above the top topic. This is helpful if you know what section to look in. You can even search within a specific thread, if that particular thread is pretty lengthy. This reduces redundant searches in unrelated areas that's unrelated to what you're looking for.
One thing I don't like about searching here, is there's no way to search by "author" or include a member's name within the advance search option. The advance search option is really no different than the Google search bar at the top of the home page (or any page you're currently viewing) Let's say you remember reading about a kick ass beer recipe that someone like (to throw a name out) Yooper made. You can't remember the name, but you know that Yooper was the one who made that particular post. By being able to streamline a search to also include "posts made by", you'll have better success and less pages to sift through to find what you're looking for.