Please don't ever ever make this a pay forum, do that, and you got a memeber/user for life.
Alright now that the whineing is out of the way, I've been a forum user for years ever since ikonboard version 2, and ubb was starting to get really big. And it always disappoints me to see some of the good boards out there that were out there either turn to, pay for use, or just plain go down the hole. Don't get me wrong phpbb is a GREAT board. But I did not find it till about 6 months to a year ago when IPB went pay on me. IMHO all the boards about thiere UUB, VBulletin, IPB, and IB are really good board, but are way over priced. Since it is my experaince is that it is the orgiranl memeber that make the board good. Have you ever realized that on almost all boards a suggested mod or hack is soon added hard coded to it afterwards. Thus makeing the forum better, and making most author get their head up thier ass thinking they coded the best board, but with out the members that would not have security updates, and stuff like that.
Lets put it this way, you got a dev board for a forum your writing, 20000 memeber so far, 5000 or so of those memeber are alright in codeing and moding php maybe 1000 of the 5000 are very very very good at php or perl. And those are the ones that find mostly all the errors, suggest fixs, and write new features. Only to have thier work hard coded in, then evently the forum gets so good that it goes into "pay for me mode". If you ask me thats kinda ass backwards, since after the inital beta release the users find mostly all the errorsw, and suggest a fix for more then half of them. I've see this happen with IPB with my own eyes, so i know im not seeing stuff. Yes I know the aurtohors send 1000's of hours coding. but without the memebers it would go no where, then they tell there memeber, hey well since we did all these fixs and it is a stable release we're going to charge you $199 for it, which is way over priced, IMHO,
FOr one thing not many common forum admins can aford that kinda dough, I could under stand about $60 for a owned liscense and maybe $30, which is a price that I think most of us can saveup for w/o a proble in a few paychecks
Well this is the end of my rant, feel free to post comments.