Okay, actually I didn't start my own story, one of my friends did that. We were using a pre-modded version of PHP-Nuke and it included an old version of PhpBB (I guesss 2.0.17) which didn't work on PHP5. So the things started when our host updated the servers to the PHP5 and our site was down.
So I went on a holliday and when I came back, I saw that our site wore an ugly theme but started working again. (The theme was Babylon.) My friend, who was also an admin, converted the site to the SMF and my story with that started. The first problem was to solve the theme issue as it was a total mess for me at that time. Again my friend found the DilberMC theme and we started using that. (I didn't like that too.)
The first problem was about the groups. It took 2 days for me too find the right place to hide the post groups for the members who have special groups.
Also the permission system was quite hard to handle as the one in PhpBB could be handled by a baby.
But later I could also managed that and saw how powerful the SMF is. Board specific permissions were awesome.
Later on, I found some themes of Rockettheme and we started using the Versality blue. Then we integrated it with Joomla!. It was really hard. But just because of the Joomla!. Anyway, we destroyed it when I coded my first SSI Portal.
Then the time for the first update came. It was 1.1.2 to 1.1.3 as I remember. I just followed the instructions in that are in the Admin CP and the update process didn't even took a minute and I was just shocked. It was amazing.
After a while, people wanted some features and I found the Mod Site. I downloaded nearly 50 packages and installed them all.
But as you can imagine, it didn't live for long. I decided start from the begining. I downloaded the Large Upgrade Package and followed the instructions. The instructions were really useful and enough. Then I first time used the Maintanance feature, which I liked so much.
Then I looked for a better theme, searched the web for days, looked into the Theme Site but couldn't find any. After a couple of days, when I was going to leave SMF just because of this theme issue, I've found the theme of my life.
(The one I'm using in my sig now.) After that, I developed the SSI Portal Page and this helped me so much in understanding the coding of SMF.
When I got how things are working in SMF, I started giving support for it in various sites (in Turkish). This also helped me a lot with the coding issue. After all these, I was able code my first mod. I started a topic in the Coding Disscussions and JohnyB was there telling me to send the mod to the Mod Site.
I did, but the answer was really bad. It didn't get apporeved and the SMF Customization Team guy was wanting me to do I lot of thing that I can not really handle. Months passed after this experience but I did nothing until I saw a topic about the feature that my mod failure was planning to add. I gave the codes there (in the Turkish Language Support Board) and a guy told me that the codes are not belonging to me. He accused me of taking anothers' code an writing them as if I coded them.
I must have to prove that I can write mods and I wrote that little thing.
So my mod author adventure started. I worked hard and at last could be able to write the Topic Count On Display mod. It was approved in a couple of days and I could be able save my honour.
Then, I saw my ability to code mods
and continued to write more mods. I've 17 now.
The one and only big problem I had with the SMF was 2 mothns before. I was trying to install a vReportOnTopic Mod by Valodim and it gave error in the Package Manager. It was saying that the needed files are not writeable. So from the Packages Settings I said SMF to set the CHMODs and it lasted with an 404 error.
Host worked so much, but couldn't solve the problem. I guess it was an error about, some system php files were also set as writeable. So they removed and created my account again. Luckily I was able to back-up my db. Now everything is on their way.
This is my short story about SMF. Don't think that it will help you, just I hope.