Re: What's happening with bbPress?
Kevin, before I changed from SMF to bbpress I checked the extensions. I use the following plugins:
BBcode Buttons Toolbar
bbpress user directory
Askimet (do not like it)
Remove topic forum (unfortunately there is no updated version, it would be a cool thing for users who like SEO-friendly pretty urls)
open-ID (no facebook login and does cause problems with the current bbpress version; wait until its updated)
bbpress polls (causes some problems with my template)
bb topic views (did not find out how to change the language; does not work with poedit and in the files I did not fiend the word “views” so I cannot translate it in german)
ignore user (needs to be updated for the current bbpress version)
All this plugins are nice but with all this bbpress is ways apart from SMF. Thats why former members complaint about the change from SMF to bbpress. SMF allowed to write drafts before posting and other things not mentioned yet…
Regarding the spam problem: SMF and wordpress did solve that problem (wordpress has a lot of good spam protection plugins as well..no need for askimet). I have a pr 5 page and no problems with spam. Register option 3 usually is secure enough. Email-address needs to be proved and there is a captcha-code. If this is not enough you can use register option 4 (member approval) With member approval the admin has to activate new members. With this spam can be avoided. Further SMF had a sophisticated bozo-user ban protection. You could ban by member-name, ban by IP-Number, ban by email address etc.
Regarding the design of the new forum:
The new forum design is better than the design of the old forum. I am not a designer, therefore I don’t think like a designer. I am somebody who likes to have the overview. The new theme is better to keep the overview. On the top you have the latest posts. Beneath you have the different categories and subcategories. This structure is easy to understand. Further the new design allows me to place more ads. Also I work with a drop down menu. Did you use it? It helps too to keep the overview.