Thanks great responses.
It sounds like Windows 7 is the same basic situation.
As for the alternate browser, I always have that in theory, now in practice I think I will deputize google for ..
b) listhings (my personal notes online, google keep +++)
c) maybe radio, I use Live365 and some others, and at times utube.
Nice, simple 3 to 5 stable items out of the way, 2 of them that could crunch firefox. The notes makes sense because you can always find the window quickly with a single click or two. (Since Google will only have one window open with 3-5 tabs.)
I had put little Firefox kill button on the right, using PsKill and a shortcut, and with MaxMax it was never covered so can get there even when things are real slowww .. I'll add the internal restart extension too, just for variety.
Big question. I was at MicroCenter (some of those places are pretty sharp in my experience) and was playing on their MiniMac (I do have an Airpad so Macs are not so foreign) and it was very nice. The salesman said his Firefox experience was tons better on the Mac, in terms of this problem. Anybody able to verify, or not?