They used to be absolutely my number 1 band and I have probably never loved another band/artist as much as I loved u2 at the peak of things with them.
AB/Pop/Zooropa stand right at the top of/very near the very top of my favourite albums of all time list and the the two tours that supported them are the best gigs I have seen or certainly again are right up there in the argument.
My 'problem' with placing u2 at the very top overall comes from just how badly I rate what they did from 2000 on....quite simply if that was all they had done I wouldn't even have given them a 2nd glance/listen and they wouldn't be anywhere on my radar....
I am pretty non plussed either way about their 80's work - TUF I love, the rest is a mix of the OK and the pretty mediocre to me, with a fair bit of awful and the odd brilliant moment....I wouldn't really call myself a fan of the band until AB came along.
All that said though my love of the 90's stuff was/is so strong that little has ever had the same effect on me so they retain largely on that a special place in my affections.. and even though I adore many artists who for me have done stuff that sits alongside or close to u2's 90's high peak and are doing stuff now that blows modern day u2 clean out of the water (Polly Jean I am looking at you) u2 remain special because of the history....
I spent my most active years of being a music fan following u2 - that time leaves an indelible mark that even Elevation can't wash away
As to how that all relates to being here - There aren't many forums for artists as active as this one - and after reading for many years I finally joined a few years ago and this place has become a daily part of my internet hobby....here, a couple of football forums, a general sports forum and one or two other music ones - I feel more inclined to post here than other places as I genuinely enjoy talking with people here....and reading the stuff that is posted here - I waste time on the internet (maybe a little too much) and that time I do have to waste I waste quite a bit of it here because I like here.
U2 are pretty much my biggest musical love historically but aren't an artist I am actively passionately in love with - we have sort of settled into a staying together for the kids type of thing! But we are good friends who just sometimes are good f*** buddies!
...and when we were at it, there was nobody who has quite matched how it was then...I've changed and they have changed and that is OK, we'll always have POP!