I have just completed our own custom forum widget (the elements on the sidebar). The issue with those that are offered with the forum are that they either show new posts or new replies to posts, but not both. In the past, users posted something and then immediately replied to their own post in order to make it visible on the frontpage since I was showing only the replies widget in the past. Showing both was also not really ideal since posts and their replies would have been shown in 2 different sections then.
So I have created one that shows both posts and their replies together. I hope this makes everyone’s life a bit easier.