I run a forum which has grown too big for EZBoard and needs it's own high bandwidth server.
I'm quite a servervirgin but I've been advised that Windows 2003 Server would be easier for me to get to grips with than Linux.
Also (potentially worrying) was that I've been advised that security wise no firewalls hard or soft are required. Just for me to block all unused ports.
Is this sound advice?? or not.
I would suggest going with a hosting provider. You won't have to worry about the server security. You should be looking for forum security. What version etc. If you have never worked as an administrator whether linux of windows, I would stay away from getting your own server. You should first educate your self.
Get a nice big hosting account, put your forum on there.
Then concentrate on securing the forum application.
If you are new to servers but want to learn a VPS would probably be the best way to go. www.vpscolo.com has a great service and it's fully managed so if you need help they'll be there. How many concurrent users anyway, this would give people an idea of what you would need.