Today, an amazing discovery for those who still like or want Ning 2 or Ning 1.5 like networks, which is Elgg related.
You can try it and upgrade it for cheap without banners at https://iclanwebsites.com which is a clan/team hosting site, however you can create other types of niche sites. The only issue is Groups, you create one and you post to it little things, its more like a bulletin area like old socialgo and the former vampirefreaks website. Amazing themes, and some non gamer ones as well and you can edit all of those in theme builder. Upgrade is anywhere between 7 a month to over 49.99 for the elite package.
My site there is in basic form atm.
Here is a screen shot: