Thanks for the encouraging words about RF Cafe - it's a lot of work.
I just located this forum, and it is entirely free. Go here to download it:http://www.phpbb.com/
You need to have access to a database on your web hosting server. Mine uses mySQL (also an Open Source item).
I followed the installation and setup instructions provided with the program and it worked the first time!
I believe that you can submit problems to the PHP website and they'll try to help. There is also a very extensive forum on the site. There are an incredible number of options and controls you can set as the administrator.
The new counter I added is also in PHP code. Although you'd think it would be even easier than installing a sophisticated forum, the darn thing gave me fits while trying to configure it to count every page on the site while not needing to put duplicate code in every folder. I actually had to hunt around and learn a little PHP coding to finally get it working.
The best part of all this is, as mentioned in the original post, is that now I'm entirely free of the FrontPage Extensions, which have been a pain from day one. The forum function provided by Front page would not recognize a line feed, and its proprietary coding was easily buggered if you happened to dink with the wrong file, and it was easy to accidentally publish an empty file over top of the one on the remote server with all the messages. If you've been following RF Cafe for many years, then you know how many times the forum has appeared and then disappeared. It was a nightmare. Good riddance.
Since finding the PHP forum, I've recognized many websites that use it, including some very heavily trafficked commercial sites.
Well, that's a lot more than you asked for, but it shows how glad I am to free of FrontPage! Good luck in setting yours up.