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So, probably Vbulletin is the best.
Anyway, I am satisfied with phpbb forum which is free. I will only switch to Vbulletin if I make enough money. :D
There are other good packages, open source and commercial, available. I ultimately chose vBulletin not because I thought it was necessarily the best, and certainly not because it is the cheapest, but because it has pretty good features for importing an existing forum, and has a broad enough user base that I can be confident it will be supported well into the future.
I gave considerable consideration to how "search engine friendly" the software would be. You can find a lot of laments about how phpBB and vBulletin produce duplicate content or aren't search engine friendly. (With phpBB, that's very true unless you strip the session id, but that's easy to do.) But beyond that, search engines can recognize and know how to index boards produced with major forum software. With the switchover to vBulletin, I abandoned the various "SEO" mods I had made to phpbb over the years. I had suspected that recent changes to Google's algorithm were rendering some of the mods counter-productive (despite their being highly beneficial when first implemented). Within two weeks of the changeover, Google has done a much better job both in terms of the depth and breadth of its indexing of the forum.
If you are happy with the features presently offered by phpBB, I don't see any reason not to choose it. If you want more features, I personally would go with a widely used forum package for reasons I have already described. To the extent possible, pick a package that you can stick with for the long haul. If you end up with a popular forum, migrating to a new package can be both difficult and disruptive.
But unless you have large board earning good revenue or deep pockets, don’t think of VBulletin.
For a purchase price of $160 or an annual lease of $85, one hardly needs deep pockets. Unless you place a low value on your own time, a decision involving sums like this (commercial software vs. open source vs. self-written) should boil down to site performance, installation/configuration time, and ongoing time savings. If you save even a few hours over the course of a year, you are money ahead with a commercial product. (Of course, commercial products aren't always better than open source, and sometimes what you write yourself will save you lots of time later.)
for most forum with 50-100 members running their boards on shared hosting which costs $4-10 a month, $160 or $85 is a huge sum. Then again it also depends on the demography, age and level of knowledge.
Most of the forum sw’s like phpBB and SMF are quite good, they do need a bit of tweaking and a few mods to get the things rolling. But then again, they serve their purpose well, which is to give a platform for members to interact without the need of extensive know how of the forum sw.
That's really in the "hobby" range of forum size without much of an opportunity for monetization. The unique visitors and pageviews won't be high enough to make Adsense pay, much less attract banner ads, etc. Even so, if the forum has some kind of topical focus I could imagine an advertiser paying enough to cover software and hosting expenses for the privilege of being identified as the forum sponsor. And, if the forum is well run, it probably won't stay that small forever unless the topic is VERY tightly focused.
If a site is paying a developer/forum administrator, though, any additional hours that have to be billed (for installing hacks, doing security upgrades, reinstalling hacks after upgrades, etc.) are going to add up to a lot more than the software cost.