IE9 is a major enhancement to IE to bring back people who strayed to other browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari etc.. After months use of IE9 beta and RC I can very well say Microsoft once again proves that if they set eyes on something they can do it. IE9 is as good as the latest Chrome or better (faster!!!) or Safari 5.x. Firefox needs to do lot of catch up, but I think they lost the steam once Chrome entered the browser space.
Since it uses Hardware acceleration and tight integration with Windows 7, it feels overall good, very pleasing to eyes too like Opera.
For an in depth review read this http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369160,00.asp
Since I use regualrly many browsers Chrome, Safari, Opera, Flock, Rockmelt, I can very well say that IE9 is in the same league as Chrome or Safari and nothing much to choose between them, it is more of personal preference, but Firefox is lagging behind. Each one has a + point. HTML5 is the new web standard which all of them aim for future.
- Chrome: Fast and sleek , HTML 5 test score on HTML5test.com - 288
- Safari: Eye candy and cover flow history and HTML test - 228
- IE9: Fast, tightly integrated to Win 7 and supports hardware acceleration: HTML5 test -130
- Opera 11: Still good looking and and a good alternative
- Rockmelt: Facebook integration
- Flock: Built on Firefox but has good Social network integration