Being a moderator of vBulletin for over three years I always compare the two products namely vB & the PHPBB. With the advent of Diondesigns & AvacWeb the difference is immensely closing up. However, I have seen that a separate server is needed for the inevitable LIMITS of FM.
I have roughly calculated the money requirements (on annual basis) for the FM system to be individualized:
Ads removal (all members): 2000 points
Copyright removal: 1000 points
Personal Domain: 1600 points
Total points: 4600
++ I haven't included the costs of purchasing a separate server for the features like 'thanking & rating' system
to achieve those points you need to buy 5000 points @ ~50 USD.
Hey I haven't included attachments yet
Now my questions to Dion ( who happen to have a Stat degree as well)
1] How much it costs for a separate server to only run thanking & rating system? ( this amount will be added to 50 USD)
2] Provided that I have seen sites like iPage & FatCow hosters that provide excellent service for ~3.75 USD/month = 45USD annually, are we stupid to follow FM's mantra??
I know that regular rates are different from initial rates...but this is only a sales stunt:
Almost always their occurs a coupon/promotion scheme (as I have been told @webhostingtalk)
In conclusion I believe that a separate server to run/maintain & monetize forums is a great thing plus deep down changes in template editing as compared to js improvements are way better & don't take a toll at page loading time. I want gurus here to reflect upon my judgement.