I figured out the well-hidden "secret" method of getting notifications for posts and replies. I'll walk you through it.
1. go to forum home page, click the VIEW NEW CONTENT button, just under the gold map, then pick a topic.
2. click on that topic, and when it opens, notice on top right of that page there is a button that says Follow This Topic.
3. click that to get notifications. You have to open each topic that you want to follow and click that button to get notified.
Then, go that box with the little man up there at the top of the home page next to your sign-in name. Under Notifications - Options click what methods of notification you want. I have every single E-MAIL box checked (!!!). Not sure which ones I need, but it always notifies me by email of anything new.
Evidently those only tell it HOW to notify, not to actually DO IT. Make sure you click on Follow This Topic too.
It works. Seems complicated, but that's the way it is.