The Freenode irc channel is a great place to hang out, and get instant help (depending on who is active at the time), but also a great place to build connections with people a little quicker, and less formally than the forums.
Topics from the last 10 minutes:
Killer parrots in New Zealand.
Filesystem designers who are currently in prison.
and a little chat about that Raspberry Pi thing.
IRC server: irc.freenode.org Channel: #raspberrypi
Note that you need to follow freenodes instructions to register your nickname before you are allowed to enter the channel.