>I still use a slightly older version (1.02) of K-Meleon, and it's easily the most crash-prone of all my browsers on different platforms<
Then you must try the latest version 1.1 - its much better than 1.02.
OR try K-Ninja 126.96.36.199 : http://geocities.com/grenleef/
>And while its bookmark handling is quite flexible in some ways (works with IE favorites, Firefox bookmarks and claims to work with Opera's hotlist, but ruined my hotlist file when I tried it), it's cumbersome in other respects (like adding new bookmarks). <
For bookmarks Ctrl-D adds a new link, If using IE Favorites / Opera Hotlist you need to click Add page menu or use a macro to do it. You can ask in K_Meleon forum for tips as many helpful guys are there. I use Powermarks so this is not an issue for me.
>From what I've seen in the past, the developer community seems to be very small and ever-changing. There have also been longer periods where it almost seemed abandoned.<
That is not true since last 1 year. There is one main developer: Dorian B , and a sincere & devoted team of helpers, so it is NOT abandoned AFAIK .
I use K-Melon 1.1 daily. IMO only Seamonkey 1.1.3 comes close followed by Opera 9.22. K-Meleon IS the fastest browser on Windows