I had a working 1.9 (with a workaround to get everything working on Vista 64) and paid a few months ago for the new beta.
Except a slight improvement of stability, and no issues on 64bit installations (I mean no workaround needed) I really don't see a difference between both. This one product is very promising, has always been, but as it is, it looks as development is dead.
Asking to pay for a beta just to get the issues ironed out of a official release (which I already paid for, but never got a satisfactory support for, altough promised on several occasions). is almost theft.
Sorry for my harsh words.