Our public Downloads and Links department is more than just public in terms of access, it is also public in terms of keeping it up to date.
When I created that Downloads and Links area on the site, I coded it so anyone could add a URL for a link or download. Check out this page if you're not sure about what I'm talking about: Add A Link or Download.
I agree that our public links and downloads may not be up to date, but we always include the latest links in our articles which are always current.
At any rate, I accept part of the responsibility for not keeping the public Links and Downloads area current, but I set that resource up for the community to utilize and submit links. Why? Because we used to get emails from folks saying they had this or that link and it took us a ton of time to create the entries in our then existing Downloads and Links areas. With the current system, all the pertinent info is entered by the users and we simply have to approve of the submission.
I suppose I need to do a better job trying to educate folks that it is a community-powered utility.
As for the hosting of large files such as the Flanker 2.5 update on this site, we still cannot afford such bandwidth. I don't know what "arrangements" other sites have, but our bandwidth is too expensive to be hosting such large files.
As for creating a special download area for members-only, we'll look into that, but for now, the ability to control hacking on our FTP servers isn't the same, or as good, as on our main site.