This is my personal review so I will go with my own opinions, however Firefox 3.5 is a bit faster than the earlier versions, even with Firefox 3.5 they have not learnt a lot of things they should have learnt, several things that matter in user experience have been left out, and several things including tab management which people install as add-ons but never use have been incorporated.
This leads to a larger question, people install things that are popular but never use it, and still it gets incorporated into the browser?
However things like getting Firefox to install add-ons or themes without restarting the browser gets left out of a major release, and its has been a major call for many people all over since Firefox 2.
Agreed that in Acid tests or whatever Firefox or whichever browser has been fastest, but who other than tech blogs who write about acid tests care about them? Do you as a user really care about what they are, or do you care which browser is really fast for you, in my opinion Google Chrome and Opera have been much more faster than what Firefox 3.5 is, try moving the browser around after loading few tabs, the sheer moving will tell you which browser is lighter.
Agreed Chrome does not have extensions yet, however in dev versions extensions in Chrome run independent of the browser, so you can kill them and still continue to use the browser, why not such features in Firefox 3.5.
When Firefox is 2nd in the market why does it have to do catch up with IE8 which already has that feature to kill independent tabs.
It’s a flaw in how Firefox has grown and how it has been able to sustain it, the add-on community grew it up to such a level that people liked Chrome but wanted it to have extensions support before they moved to it.
Firefox 3.5 has great features, but there is nothing to write home about, after few days people will start complaining how Firefox uses lots of memory, and Mozilla will start saying a barebone version of Firefox does not utilize that much memory, but Mozilla if you can build a platform that eliminates add-ons that eat up memory you would do good, rather than just blaming them for having a bloated Firefox.
I use Firefox, but not as much as I did before Google Chrome came up, once Google Chrome has something like Firebug and Webdeveloper I am dumping Firefox until they really come up with something that wants me to use them again.
I am a Firefox fan and will remain one, however Chrome stole your thunder and IE8 did it too, so buck up and do a bigger and better release soon.