Chow appears to have decided to move it from the bottom of the thread to the top. Presumably this is so that people can read the OriginalPost while they are responding, perhaps encouraging responses to remain on subject rather than a free association from one response to the next.
On the flip side of the equation it means that people are more likely to say what has already been said, and less likely to read the entire thread before they reply.
Somehow I don't see Chowhounds clicking a button before they post that reads:
"I have read the entire thread on this subject, all related posts, and all relevant links and references contained herein and therein and do hereby agree not to make redundant statements, pose obtuse questions, or engage in snarky behavior. I do also hereby declare that I am fully competent and qualified to make a statement on this subject."
In addition to the 'Reply to Original Post' at the bottom of a topic, I wish there were also a 'Return to Profile' button. There are three possible options when you're don with a thread:
1. Return to the board
2. Return to your profile
3. Reply to OP
All three of these should be linked at the bottom of a thread. There's just no reason not to make these actions faster and simpler.