Null - What a great answer on what it's like to moderate at SFF! I somehow missed it when you originally wrote it - so even though it's been a while, I have a couple comments.
I've shared before that I was a moderator for a very large Harry Potter forum-based website for five years, and I only bring it up again because I do feel it gives me credibility and demonstrates I have the experience to make a valid observation about moderating. Been there, done that.
In addition to what you wrote, Null, I want to point out that when you're a moderator, it's super important to recognize when your heart is no longer in the game, and resign.
In my case, I carried out my moderator duties with happy diligence for five years - but then one day I sat down at my computer to start reviewing forum posts, as I did every day, and I found I just didn't want to do it. I was done. So I nervously tendered my resignation, scared that I would be leaving the site in the lurch (which was silly because there were a ton of other mods) and that everyone would be angry with me for leaving. But that's not what happened. Instead, I received an outpouring of gratitude from my fellow mods and the site owner, and thanks for the time I had given the site over five years. So, yeah, it's okay to have limits.
As a moderator, you don't want to find that in order to get all your duties done, you're suddenly spending ten hours a day on the site without a break. You will burn out fast. It's important for moderators to carve out time where they can just be regular users, and ask and answer questions, or review posts, comment, or even perhaps chat. And if you find that moderating turns out to be something that just isn't for you, step down quickly. Put the site's needs ahead of your own - always.
I bring this up because, well, it's true - some of the SFF mods do little to no moderation, yet they won't resign. I have never understood why Stack Exchange doesn't consistently remove inactive moderators, and I don't want to hear about moderators who are mostly inactive but allegedly take on a little "behind-the-scenes action" - that is totally unbelievable. I don't want to hear that a mod who isn't performing their duties is "on strike" over a situation that has long been resolved, or a mod who will only handle the occasional flag because he/she "isn't a people person", etc. If you're a moderator, you need to maintain a visible presence on the site that you manage. Period. The site users should know you and be able to approach you if you're a mod.
I realize this may be considered by some as a foray into opinion, but it's an essential point because inactive moderators who refuse to resign prevent the site from having a full, functioning moderation team. This affects all our users. Four functional moderators are going to get a lot more work done than two active moderators and two moderators who have ghosted the site. One of our inactive mod's last activity was in October 2019. Another mod was last active in April with one action, but prior to that had no action for nine months. Another puts in around an hour or two a week of moderating, which is insufficient for a site as big as SFF. So, yes, inactive mods, please, please resign!
JNat explains the policy for removing inactive moderators on Meta SE.
I moved my comments on Mos Eisley here.
PS - Null and Rand al'Thor - you guys are great mods! Thank you.