Firefox 2 was a terrible memory hog. It would unusably amass 300-400MB of resident RAM in my daily usage over the course of about a couple weeks. This made it unusable to me.
Konqueror was zippier and more memory-efficient, but would crash about once every month or two. This made it unusable to me.
Opera goes back and forth in the browser history on mouse-wheel left-scroll/right-scroll events. I couldn't find a way to disable this. This made it unusable to me.
To me, things weren't looking bright for the top three Linux browsers.
Firefox 3 beta 1, so far, has been more responsive than Konqueror and much leaner than Firefox 2—about 100MB of resident RAM over the course of four days, with about 10-20 tabs open on average.
Only 32-bit Firefox 3 beta 1 builds are made available by Mozilla. I wanted a 64-bit (x86-64) build, which should be faster, at the cost of some memory. An x86-64 build would also correctly integrate with my system, versus my 32-bit chroot environment: timezone, MIME helper applications, fonts. I thought building Mozilla would be a big, involved, treacherous process, but it turned out not to be.
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/obj-@CONFIG_GUESS@ . $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig ac_add_options --enable-optimize='-O3 -march=athlon64' ac_add_options --enable-default-toolkit=cairo-gtk2 ac_add_options --disable-debug ac_add_options --enable-official-branding ac_add_options --prefix=/usr/local/stow/firefox-3.0b1
I now have a stable, memory-efficient, 64-bit Firefox build for Linux, and all three integration problems above are solved.