I'm confused about this too.
Recently a board I moderate on got upgraded, and no IP banning. The admin is good at banning IPs per request (via Apache config), but what's the point in taking it away? Or is it some admin option that hasn't been enabled?
I do tend to find UBB threads make decisions for the consumer about what they should have. I mean, I'm sure there's a lot of customisable options, but it seems some decisions are made for admins because they don't know better? ("This search feature is better, you have to use it", "X feature will make your boards run slower, now you can't use it"). Sorry if that seems rude, it's a great product, but it's just the impression I get.
Just my 2 cents.