Thanks to b's comment yesterday, I went in search of more places to store and share images, in the process I found this site, free-webhosts.com, which then sent me in search of even more places to share and store photos. Still nothing shapes up quite like flickr in terms of it's overall, look, feel, ease of use and sense of community. Photobucket for example has a clunky interface and isn't that clear about limits attached to a free account. Shutterfly, despite it's more liberal upload limits, explicitly prohibits hot linking, and seems geared to selling prints anyways, I'm not even going to bother with Kodak's equivalent as they are not renowned for having their fingers on the pulse of things these days.
As for communities in general 'online' I suspect that flickr has built a rod for it''s own back. In the process of setting up such an organic process, there is bound to be certain levels of anarchy. I realise to that getting to 'know' a community takes involvement and time, but the 'structure' of the groups on flickr seems unique. You create a group about anything and list it anywhere yo feel comfortable and invite away. If it well managed it prospers, if not well whatever. All the other sites have very well defined boundaries that you must at add your group to. Making it less anarchistic, but somehow less owned.