I’m running the beta (downloaded yesterday). I was getting the “foggy screen of death” in IE8 and could not get it solved. Since downloading the IE9 beta, I have not had one such incident. It also appears to be faster, although I have not used it enough to ascertain just how much faster.
Same here. I am really frustrated by the changes in the icons and the toolbar. I don't know why they moved the "search" function or put the "favorites" star on the right. The icons are microscopically tiny, a problem I hope they address soon. (After they move it back over to the left, where it had always been.)
I'm not enough of a geek to notice a lot of difference in the performance, but it's working well so far.