I like that you went with XF! I've been meaning to make a new account. A shame you couldn't migrate.Years ago, I'd say vBulletin (3.x line) but now? Probably Xenforo. I don't like the direction IPB has taken. I find XF much more customizable and easier/less bloated. As for Free software? MyBB probably, free/remotely hosted? ZetaBoards by far!