How much of an improvement do you find it has over version 9?
Not that much. As I explained in my original post, despite the version change, it feels more like the usual incremental update. Indeed many people early in development felt the new version deserved a .x change instead of the x. it received. And I agree with them as I feel 9.5 was a much more new feature-packed release.
On the other hand, Presto received a major overhaul, and I think they stated somewhere it was the reason behind the 9 -> 10 jump. And it's not that rare to see browsers experiencing these jumps in version number without requiring it. Chrome has been doing it since it was released (it's at version 4 right now, just after a year, and still lacks a ton of things), Firefox did it with versions 1.5 and 2 which, IMO, were disappointing.
The emphasis on turbo for example (plus the many videos of Opera 10 in youtube) seems more like a marketing ploy for new users to actually try and see for themselves that Opera is just as fast as Chrome and Firefox. (without setting Turbo on or maybe with it.)
I haven't tried Turbo (don't need to), but I seriously doubt it can make Opera go any faster, unless you're using a weak connection, which is its intended use (not that Firefox and Chrome are that fast, synthetic
benchmarks are one thing, real usage is another, and in any case you're shaving milliseconds, not even seconds anymore). Turbo has its uses, and with the huge success of netbooks in the market, it definitely can help with public Wi-Fi and phone tethering.
Then the actual improvement of tab thumbnails seems more like it was another way to make Opera look cooler to the mainstream. (Let's face it, Opera already solved the tab problems with right click + scroll wheel + thumb tooltips.)
Yup, I deactivated them. I feel Opera has more than enough ways to manage tabs, but in any case, tab thumbnails don't get in the way unless you activate them, and thumbnails were already provided in other parts of the UI, so it couldn't be much of an effort to get in the tab bar (UI work aside).
The rest seems like they were stability improvements and to satisfy the core users.
Yeah. To be fair, the framework to implement many of the features that people are asking about (and, incidentally, are included in other browsers), is pretty much there. Why are not they including them? Beats me.
I know this is kind of a repeat of my earlier post but I'm actually shocked of the reviews and comments coming out for Opera 10 considering the improvements.
Personally, if they redesigned the addressbar to work as it does in the rest of the browsers, with the added bonus of webpage content indexing, it would be enough to label Opera as a true 10 version. The feature is so broken that it really irks me every time I use it.