IPB is for people who don't want to do much. Basically its for newbs
Phpbb requires scripting knowledge to be great. You have to know php. Not to mention it saves you $180 or $160.
You say, "Well, that all I can do", but its not. Its just all you can do without taking the time and effort to actually do something
Go to phpbb.com and check out their mods forum. There are -loads- of them you just have to take the time to install them.
Vbulletin is -very- nice, but I prefer to belong to an open source community where If I request a mod...someone might actually write it...and there are ALWAYS dozens of mod projects under way.
And I'd shoot myself before run IPB, only thing worse is Ikonboard.