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I totally get the appeal of what you're asking for, and to T27, it probably sounds like something I'd dream up, but I'd have to say this is something I'd put on a back burner for inclusion, if ever. The main reason is that the banner area is our personal branding/ad space, meaning we get to advertise whatever we want. Usually that is our own site with the normal banner, but other times we want to promote something else. If users were able to just turn that off, it would no longer be our space nor promotional how we intend. Imagine if someone sponsored that area by making their own banner (this has actually happened before), but users just picked something else...it would put us in an awkward position of not fulfilling our end of the deal.
Anyway...I guess I could be in favor of something like a "retro fan banner" weekend here and there where the community votes and chooses which previous banner to have up for a moment.
Then again, if we ever offer a subscription-type service that allows certain tiers the ability to disable ads, who knows if we could also offer such a feature...