Marshall - 8:43 am on Dec 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
Creating a .net is not a bad idea, IMO, as I have done this for several clients with no adverse effect.
Another thing to consider is .co. Some of my clients have gotten domain names similar to branded names and have done as well if not better than the branded names in SERPs, though that could be an SEO issue also.
Third is simply create new pages to replace your thin ones, put the articles in them, and make a permanent 301 redirect to the new pages.
One thing I have noticed with Google is, since Panda, new sites and pages seem to be doing better than older ones, barring the big name sites, though I am sure there are people who would disagree.