As the forum I am going to setup is a niche community and users may very well be novice forum users I need a forum that is intuitive, easy to use and attention grabbing from the outset.
I have all but passed entirely on Vb, which leaves me with XF and IPB.
I require a shopping/marketplace (IPB's Nexus) type of ability in the near future 3-6 months.
I require a classifieds section immediately
I require a user gallery with featured images on the front page. I like the Content feature of IPB
I also require a specific look and feel which I have found for both XF and IPB in a 3rd party skin.
I need to integrate the forum into an existing html5 / css site
I do not require CMS, Blog, or Portal type plugins.
I have not been able to decide if XF will be able to handle my requirements "out of the box" or with currently available plugins.
I like the feedback on XF so far and am leaning towards it as I like the feel of it so far.
I am hours away from purchasing and getting developement underway and would also like to hear anyone elses experiences with the requirements I need or any solutions to them.