No Right Answer
I have several browsers on my desktop. I have XP at home (bought 3 years ago - BEFORE 7, and did not want Vista) so IE9 is not an option (work is Vista - I was right in my home purchase). So I am using IE8 both at home and work. When I use IE. I have Firefox which is my browser of choice, Opera, Safari, and Chrome.
I know many will disagree with me, and that is fine, but my experiences show that no one is winning, just some are losing slower.
Opera is fine if all you want to do is read the news. It is relatively fast, and clean. for a quick hit, I like it, but seldom use it.
Safari is for Mac users. Nothing wrong with the windows version - just not a lot right (like add ons and such). It has not given me a reason to switch to it as a primary browser - or even secondary. As such, I do not hate it, just do not use it.
Chrome is not fast. I wonder if the FCC will nab them for false advertising. Doubtful since it is free. but the lack of speed has turned me off to it. Like Opera, I use it on occasion, but it is not on the top of my browser list.
IE is fast launching. It is also the browser of last resort (when the Stardock forums mess up, or a web page will not display correctly in other browsers, IE will work). But it is not fast surfing. And has one idiosyncrasy (actually 2) that I hate.
#1: when closing multiple tabs and windows, and saving them, relaunching IE brings them all up in one window. Why? (Did 9 fix that?)
#2: More often than not, when closing said tabs, IE will "crash" and then open all the windows again - without asking.
#3 (well, I mis-counted) Windows does not recover from a non-shutdown crash with all tabs.
But on the good side, of my top 2 browsers, it is by far the most frugal with memory (I never thought I would say that!). I had 2 windows and 12 tabs open the other day, and it was using only 100mb of memory (ONLY!!!!! God we have come far).
Firefox is my browser of first choice. I like the thousands of Add Ons I can choose to add (or not), the ease at which I can enable or disable them, and the fast browsing. But it is not perfect.
#1: It is slow to launch - especially if there is an update. But even without an update, it will take about 5 minutes where IE takes about 1.
#2: it is a memory HOG! Same day, I also had Firefox up with 6 tabs open, one window. It was pegging 500mb! I frequently have to crash the browser as once it gets over 500mb (one system has 2gb the other has 4gb of memory so it does not appear to matter how much total memory there is), it dogs it. But the crashing leads to the reason it is my main browser - namely:
#1: When you shut it down, and then relaunch, it does not open the Home pages PLUS the saved tabs (IE does thatt - and I have 3 home pages so it really clutters things up).
#2: When you crash it (or it does it to itself - it does not crash often), it will open the previous tabs in their respective windows - not all in one. Often when IE crashes, your tabs are gone.
#3 - and the biggest reason I prefer it - it is not IE! In that I mean you avoid the bugs that the script kiddies and malware authors love to exploit in IE (should Firefox become #1, I am sure they will target it and I will probably change my main browser).
But that brings up another thing that is not good about Firefox (version 3.x.x). It does not allow you to "save" tabs when you have multiple windows open until you close the last one. Unless you crash it.
Still, with all its faults (well not so many, just aggravating), Firefox is my browser of choice.
Now before someone gets to calling me stupid for missing something obvious on a setting, I will admit that while I have poked around in the options, I am not an expert at them. So if you know a setting that can ease my gripes about either IE or Firefox, I will be happy to hear them! Or if you want to tout the wonders of another browser, tell me why it is your favorite. I am not a browser snob. I just want a tool that I do not have to crash periodically (Firefox) - or that crashes on me (IE).