I've been something of a fanboy of Opera for a long while now. It's quick-loading, has strong caching and doesn't hog memory like Firefox used to. However, with FF cleaning up house for its 3.x family, by fixing all those memory leaks, improving performance by leaps and bounds and introducing those little features (page zooming for e.g.) that make things ever so friendlier, I'm of a mind to switch back to it.
People usually cite extensions as the primary reason why they use or used to stick to Firefox. With me though, it has always been about speed, performance and time-saving. but things have changed and Opera 9.5x loses big-time now in the following departments:
- History: I use the page history feature all the time and the Opera implementation just takes way too long to find stuff. There are also a bunch of usability issues with it. I am also not impressed by the usability of the "panel" - the damn thing never closes automatically.
- Spellchecker: While FF comes with an inbuilt, customisable and automatic spellchecker, Opera relies on an external program (aspell) which requires an additional installation and configuration. Moreover, the aspell integration does not provide auto-spellchecking and requires you to manually run the spellchecker, which is a real pain.
- Opera's pop-up blocker is less effective than that of FF and the lack of an equivalent to "flashblock" is being keenly felt.
- ... and while it's not really Opera's fault, a number of JS-based sites like gmail are slow to release new features that work immediately on Opera and not just FF and IE.
... and a few other minor points too. That said, Opera still continues to trump FF in many areas: the download manager and the speed dial to name a couple. But, the abovementioned issues are annoying enough that I appear to be gradually shifting towards using FF as my primary browser.