I saw the newsforge article and it was very nice. I love this site precisely for its friendliness and the lack of causticness and so on that ALWAYS seems to develop. I held my breath when I saw some of the political posts and hoped for the best and everything was fine it seemed.
I also kept my trap shut when I saw the little cartoon guy in the logo even though I was sure that it could be offensive to some. BUT since it has come up, I would urge you to consider changing it. The cartoon can be seen to play to certain stereotypes that some find offensive even though I know that no offense was intended.
My vote, for what it's worth, would be to change it. I don't see any down side to the change especially since the site is getting so much attention - and since it is such a great place.