A button for going to a page to propose a new topic. Hmmm. That's an idea with potential. I've never been happy with the current system from an administrative and software standpoint. It's worth some thought.
I know I've thought for only a little while, but I think I have a good idea for an improved approach to beginning new topics. There would be two types of forums:
Forum requires a proposal stage.
At the top of the list of topics would be a "Propose New Topic" button. Clicking on it would open the message entry page. Once the topic proposal is submitted it would be added at the top of the list of topics for that forum, but it would be closed and only administrators could respond to the message. Once the topic proposing process is complete the administrator would open the topic for discussion.
On message list pages for such forums the "New Topic" button would be replaced with a "Propose New Topic" button.
Forum does not require a proposal stage.
At the top of the list of topics and of message list pages would be a "New Topic" button, just like now.