Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
Ordinarily I can’t stand it, but there’s an Arch version of a patched Dillo in the archlinux.fr repository that does a much better job than the standard, vanilla Dillo (vanDillo? ). (I’ll have to see if it can be rigged for Ubuntu.)
Short of elinks, this is simply the fastest browser alive. The trick is making it look decent, since it uses so much GTK1.2 that it’s just genetically ugly.
I’m messing with fonts and themes, but it’s tough to find something that doesn’t look … repulsive. The fonts seem to be the real trick. I can’t get anything but the ugliest fonts installed under Arch. The Sony one is the only one I can get to work that doesn’t look like it was drawn on an original Macintosh. The Lighthouse GTK1 theme is actually okay, but behaves strangely.
The funny thing is, if this weren’t so uncomfortable to look at, I’d definitely use it more often. But I suppose you have to sacrifice something if you want the speed.
Edit: I managed to find the problem; my xorg.conf file needed editing. The font paths were commented out.
Anyway, with a proper font set and the smooth engines out of the Arch repositories, I get this. …
Which is acceptable … and godlike fast.