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| || |There's a recent thread where a user is complaining about the uselessness of the search function, and frankly, I'm inclined to agree. Have you considered just linking the search function to google (site:englishforum.ch) instead? Note that I haven't searched this question yet.
With the time restrictions placed on searches, it's very hard to iteratively refine your search as most people are accustomed to - the delays make it intolerable. Further, I'm betting that most people are searching for info in old posts, so searching the google cache (rather than the current database) wouldn't be a problem. I do see a downside that you couldn't search by sub-forum, but I think you could still program that in with a little creativity when kidding the vbulletin search functionality.
Just my two cents - dog knows I always hit google first anyway.
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When you first click on search, the following screen offers the option for a Google Powered search - is this not what you were thinking of?