While benchmarks are the way to compare browsers, they do not represent the feel you get
Too true. FF just always feels slow to me, and not just on the startup. Add to that the horrible memory management ( at least the version I was forced to use two years ago at work, ) and the stupid download manager, and I can't stand to use it. I use Chrome usually, but I have a lot of page failures with it, usually audio/video media getting screwed up.
Say what you will about IE being slow, but I have far fewer page errors and crashes on that than other browsers. If IE supported directional tab scrolling ( ctrl+ pg up/down opposed to ctrl+tab only, ) I don't think I'd use another browser.