"many of our forum users don't want to learn or adapt to another way from what they already know and use for basic formatting capability"
"basic formatting capability"
1) Highlight the words you want to change the format on.
2) Above the text editor, click the button that matches the format you want that highlighted text to become.
Beyond the information and screenshots I've shared with you about the "in development" status of an WYSIWYG editor, thats the current situation of UBB.threads
I'm sorry that this may not be the answer you want to read, but it is the answer to your question.