This 80+ hive thing is leaps and bounds beyond the 60+ hive in terms of XP production when you're in a fellow (about double, from what I can tell).
I'm closer to wanting to swear into an alliance. I saw that some people in Chunglee's crowd had an Aerlinthe quest run recently, and I woulda killed to go along if I'd had the time -- I really want that recall spell (along with the BoBo recall).
What I need to do now is contact an old vassal (who is now a monarch by protest) and take him up on his offer -- he said he'd follow me to whatever alliance I went to, and it looks like he has a total of 72 followers (only a few active, however). If the HOV was still active, I would have already gone there.
So where to choose? Chunglee is a pretty dominant choice, since there are so many of his folks on the boards, and I like what most of them have to say (barring Kiaya, who I guess I'll just have to learn to ignore). On the other hand, AS1's alliance has been around since the days of Djcjr, and there are people who swear by it (no pun intended).