Note that the basic code for this forum is a package we obtained -- Simple Machines Forum (SMF). This package offers a number of features and integration options that seem to fit well with our needs. And it is used in a large number of websites and enjoys a very good reputation.
But as with any such package, there are things we can do with it quite easily, others that take some work, and some that are just not practical to do at all. We do not see any major problems here, and we know that SMF is actively being developed, with a major new version to be available probably later this year.
So keep this in mind when we answer any questions or suggestions that you have. We don't expect you to know what's easy and what's virtually impossible, but recognize that there are realistic limits that have to be dealt with, and some things, no matter how good an idea, may just not be do-able at this time.