I think that the reason the search engine gets over used so much is the fact that too many ppl want to search for their own posts and see if they have replies.
I would have though it be useful to implement an individual part to the forums where it just finds all your post like here at www.disqworld.net
where when you have logged in you can look at where people have replied to posts etc.. very easily by just clicking one button.
Its only an idea and would probably take along time to implement! but it would probably free up the search engine for the use of newbies looking for answers to their questions !
Just an Idea!