Switching from VB (currently 5.5)


We are considering moving from VBulletin to XenForo and had a couple of questions we were hoping to get answered.

We used to be on VB 3.8.7 for many years just fine and then around 12/1 we decided to upgrade to current (5.5). In order to do that we first had to upgrade to a version of 4.x which we did. During the upgrade, among other things it messed up our database collation where half of the tables are utf8_unicode_ci and the other half is latin1_swedish_ci. So throughout posts there ate funk symbols and characters which is annoying! My plan was to run their scripts to convert all tables and fields to utf8 but now that we are considering the change, we are not sure we still need to or should mes with it.

My questions are:

1) Since there is no importer from vb5 to xenf, we would have to use our data from 12/1 (mysql back up). Is there any way to also get all of December's posts in the new xenforum install or are they just lost? (I would also assume using that old db, we would not run into the funky characters issue?)

2) Although I have a good share of web dev / programming experience, I am wondering if its not better to have a xenforum expert do the change for us. I saw someone saying there are techs who would do it for nominal fees. Anyone official for the site who does it or do we just have to find someone on our own and take our chances? About how much would it cost?

I think that's it for now, thanks in advance!