Alt.fan.elite is the longest-running discussion group dedicated to the Elite and Frontier series of games. According to legend, the board was originally intended for the Elite modelling agency but was somewhat taken over by gamers eager to discuss David Braben and Ian Bell's creation. Today the board is still fairly active, although quiet compared to its heyday. It can be accessed through ISP newsgroups, or via Google-groups: alt.fan.elite.
The board is always worth watching as occasionally a flamewar can break out between two or more parties. The best practice in this situation is to get yourself a drink, find some popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show.
There is an IRC channel called #alt.fan.elite for realtime chat. It is most active in the late evening.