Make crust: combine vanilla wafer or graham crumbs, sugar, pecans, and butter in a bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture into bottom of a 8-inch springform pan. Bake till golden brown, 10 min. Cool on wire rack. Wrap bottom and sides of pan with heavy duty foil. Set aside.
Cut in half and scrape vanilla bean seeds out of each half. Use the bean pods in 1 cup of sugar in plastic baggy to make vanilla sugar for coffee, tea, desserts, etc.
Make filling: Reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese in mixer bowl on medium-high speed 3 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in vanilla beans or vanilla extract. Gradually beat in sugar, scraping sides of mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time beating just until blended and mix is completely smooth. Stir in sour cream. Pour into prepared pan. Place pan in a large roasting pan and carefully add enough hot water to come halfway up side of springform pan.
Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven and let cheesecake stand in oven for 1 hour. (DO NOT OPEN OVEN!!!) Remove from water and cool on wire rack 1 hour. Remove foil. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
Remove ring from pan and transfer cake to a flat serving plate. Garnish if desired -But you won't want to!