I switched to Chrome half a year back because Firefox had become sluggish on my Linux box (both Ubuntu and OpenSuse). 6 months later and the problem remains – anyone know what is going on and any tips to improve? I still need to use Firefox occasionally for Firebug.
For me, performance is the real deal-killer for Firefox nowadays. Compared to Chrome it’s just too damn slow*, so I don’t think your experiences are unique or imply that something is wrong with your install.
Perhaps a refresh of the codebase for 4.0 might help, until then I, like you, stick to Chrome for 99% of tasks and switch to Firefox for Firebug.
Do you periodically clean the firefox internal database? How many extension have you loaded in it?
On openSUSE firefox has a long standing issue…see my blog to encounter it.. I have posted the solution there.
Remove Flash, remove Firefox, reinstall Firefox without Flash. Try again. Any difference?