Unfortunately no one can be told what PunBB is - you have to see it for yourself.
PunBB is a fast and lightweight PHP-powered discussion board. It is released under the GNU General Public License. Its primary goals are to be faster, smaller and less graphically intensive as compared to other discussion boards. PunBB has fewer features than many other discussion boards, but is generally faster and outputs smaller, semantically correct XHTML-compliant pages.
There is no definitive list of all the websites that are currently using PunBB, but there is a list of the largest PunBB boards on the web. Head over to the board stats at the PunBB Resource site.
PunBB 1.0 reached what was considered a stable state on 2003-08-07.
The idea of PunBB was first born when I wanted to install a discussion board on a website I was tinkering with. After an exhaustive search, all the boards I found were either over-featured or too graphic for my needs.
I wanted a package that:
Since it was nowhere to be found, I started working on PunBB, or just Pun as it was called back then.
Developing software to “please the masses” isn't difficult. Just cram in every possible feature you can think of and most people will love it. Some people, however, will hate it and look for alternatives. The problem with developing for that other group of people is having to make decisions on whether to implement a feature or not. What is a “must-have” and what is not?
Some features that have so far not been implemented are: private messaging, file attachments in posts, polls, linking to off-site avatars, advanced text formatting controls, subforums etc etc. Some of these features might still get implemented, just not in the near future.