Out of all the forums I have been an admin/mod on I have only used vB. I think vB offers many more features and options compared to the others.
Swas will be the best one at this.
I'd be interested to know if the benefits of a $118 license can justify the purchase. I am working on a newbie forum and will be posting all sorts of blueprints for money-making projects, go over IM basics, etc. I'm new at being a forum mod and I don't want to overdo it, so I think I'm going to go with SMF for now since it's free. I have some cool themes lined up, and I like their version of iTrader. Just have to figure out how to separate free vs. paid content viewability (is that a word?).