All I can say is whatever suits a person is ok for me. But, since I have nearly everything past and present, I thought that it would be fun to take a look at the time spent by each program to load, and shutdown, looking at the Task Manager. Taking into account that I have an old and clunky machine, and bottom of the line cable connection, I will say that my times are slow, when compared to others who have newer machines and faster connections, but do I see anything obvious with Firefox vs Chrome, even considering that the number of extentions and tabs are different in all my programs. Firefox 3.6.13 has more extentions and two tabs when compared with Chrome, which has one tab. Firefox is usable with nearly 100 MB memory usage, but firefox.exe creeps up to nearly 130 MB. Chrome was perplexing as it showed no less than nine chrome.exe, all of different sizes, which added up to nearly 130 MB. I tried to close some of the chrome.exe, and did not see anything obvious, until I noticed orangish toolbars telling me that a certain plugin had crashed. Some could be, easily, restored, some not so easily. It appears that one could manage Chrome from the Task Manager more or less like Firefox Safe Mode. But in spite of this different way of managing the programs, Chrome loads faster, in under 30 sec., while FF 3.6.13 may take up to one minute. The new FF4.0 beta takes almost 15 sec. less time. Chrome closes almost instantly, with all nine chrome.exe gone, while the single firefox.exe decreases slowly, at first, then more rapidly.
I had tried Safari, but never saw any advantage in using it.
As for Thunderbird, since between my wife and I. we use seven pop account, there is no question about going to webmail. I expressed before my dislike of v.3.x when compared to 2.x. 3.x will not let me do anything, until everything is downloaded. For instance, I can't delete any old mail, or open an old e-mail, until TB is done.
2.x will allow both functions at the same time. Considering my overall lack of speed, this is annoying.
I use webmail when I feel like it, but, unless I am willing to make major habit changes, it is not my way to go.
Windows Live is tolerable. I keep it around only because Thunderbird is not, officially, supported by my ISP
(in other words some techs know nothing about it, while others do). I have had the occasion to use Windows Live, only once, in the past year, with one account loaded. Being inexperienced with it, I paid for it losing all past e-mail, and anything still on server.
Going back to Firefox vs Chrome, I don't any obvious difference in page rendering, and, since I habitually use no more than three tabs at once, the speed is virtually unchanged.
Seamonkey is ok, but it is not accepted at a number of websites, any more than Firefox nightlies.
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/8.0.552.224 Safari/534.10