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I spend most of my time working with Vanilla, since I'm employed by Vanilla Forums Inc., so I dare say I know my way around it
Shameless self promotion: Wysihtml5 (http://vanillaforums.org/addon/wysihtml5-plugin) is a beast when it comes to Wysiwyg editing. It produces semantic markup and doesn't make use of inline styling for more advanced stuff - it uses classes and CSS instead.
That being said, Button Bar + Markdown is a great choice. Button Bar provides accessible shortcuts and Markdown is much more easily adopted by your users than simple HTML. BBCode would also be a great choice if your users are used to BBCode (incl. yourself I see).
Just please, for the sake of all that is holy: Don't use CLEditor
The stylesheet is appended with an etag meaning is a cached version from the old
/dev site. You got to clear the entire cache when moving stuff around :-)
Edit: Almost fast enough!
Bah, my brain is not working today... Sorry about that!
Ten bucks say there's something useful in
Gdn::Session() that you could use.