I'm pretty sure I came to MetaFilter from Slashdot, either in late 2000 or early 2001. In retrospect, I'm not sure why I read Slashdot - it wasn't a great fit for my interests or temperament. MetaFilter, in stark contrast, instantly clicked with my sensibilities. My MeFi habit was well established by the time 9/11 happened and MetaFilter became my best resource (here on the West Coast) for making sense of the real and hypothetical risks faced by my family back East.
I looked at the posts and read the comments on the site for several more years. Although there had been some AskMe questions that *itched* for answering, it took Christmas Eve 2005 boredom for me to actually sign up. I suspect I'll always be more of a reader and a lurker than a commenter.
8th anniversary meetup in PDX
I'd moved to Portland just a couple of months before the 8th Anniversary meetup and was just barely settling in. I was pretty unnerved about facing the masses of nerdery, and arranged to get together with click so we could go to the meetup together.
The meetup itself, as others have noted, was a delight. melissa may and dersins were particularly welcoming -- both to MeFi and to my new city. Thanks, MetaFilter!