I think the main reason for people not using the chat is because at most, there'll be about 5 people on at one time. Also, it's hard to get any kind of numbers there, because people will log on, see nobody there and leave. Repeat ad infinitum.
Actually that's a good idea. I didn't look at the page since it seems i have to register or sth, but anyways...rather than having a separate chat page, have a little applet at the bottom of all the forum windows where we can all chat. Though I'm not so sure how the whole logging process would work