I guess this is as good a place to put this as anywhere.
Has anybody tried using XBee/Zigbee with Vera plus?

So here?s the thing,
I?m currently running Smartthings. I?ve made various Zigbee devices of my own using xbee and they work well under this system. The problem however is twofold. 1, I really don?t like everything running in the cloud especially lately when Smartthings servers have been quite unreliable. And more concerning 2… Samsung is going through a massive ecosystem change. The final target details are fairly unknown. The community is guessing a lot but there is a good possibility that the current hubs will not be compatible with their future direction. Since they rely on the Samsung servers, this would effectively brick them. Rumour has it that they will replace the hardware but there are many of us who won?t be able to do that for several reasons.
So now I?m looking at an ecosystem change before I?m backed into a corner with nothing working and taking the opportunity to get my system running locally and not rely on a functioning internet connection/server setup.
I have an HAI load control switch which is very central to the whole reason I started down this home automation track. It?s a Zigbee device and that along with my custom hardware are my main concerns.
I?m not afraid to learn a new coding method but I don?t want to have to repeatedly swap and change. I?m not getting any younger!
I?ve looked at Home Assistant. I like it but my internet connection won?t allow me to open or forward a port so that means I can access it externally to my home network… then I tried openHAB … wow… steep learning curve! And like all this things, poor documentation.
Personally I think Smartthings is great for people who like to build their own Things. It?s completely open and device drivers are no problem. The system is far from perfect but I like what they have. This however is changing so it?s not going to stay using the same code.
So my two top contenders are Vera and openHAB. I like the commercial aspect of Vera… it may seem odd to say that but I don?t just want something for me. I have other family members I?d like to help set up systems and the commercial aspect is far more attractive than openHAB for this.
My main concern is getting my oddball devices to work. And also if I buy other oddball devices, I want to be able to connect them also. I could perhaps use a mix of openHAB and Vera but I?d prefer the simplicity and clean-ness of just one system.

What I need to understand now, and I haven?t really found the info I need, is …
The ?plugins? that are spoken of with Vera. Can these extend to be device drivers/handlers? Or are they more a variation on how to use the devices that Vera produce device handlers for?
If they aren?t device handlers, is there a way for users to build their own device drivers as is possible in the current SmartThings ecosystem?
That way I could build my own handlers for my oddball gear and I could use Vera the way I want to?

Any help in understanding the system before I shell out $$$ would be appreciated.

A few links to help you:

About platform comparisons
About Zigbee on Vera
About Vera like alternative Openluup/Vera and Zigbee