The Safari 3 beta went live not much more than an hour ago. This is actually my second attempt to post this using Safari on Vista since fidgeting with my bookmarks took it down smoldering, along with what I'd already written—but it was going pretty well until that point.
It's definitely snappy, and subjectively it does seem to beat Firefox rendering the 10 or so pages I visit daily outside of my RSS feeds. However, on my 1920x1200 widescreen monitor, pages in Safari seem a bit "fuzzier" than they do in Firefox. And yeah, while it's cliché to say at this point, I do like the interface for the most part—it beats the pants off of the ugly-stick-beaten IE 7, in any case.
In-line finding, while slightly slower than Firefox's find-as-you-type, is also more detailed with instance numbers plus a fairly schmancy highlighting effect. Also nice is SnapBack, which brings you back to your original search results or main page of site with a little icon in the search bar.
Now for some complaints: One niggling annoyance is that the keyboard shortcut for opening new tabs from the address bar is different from both Firefox and IE 7—with them you just hit Alt+Enter and the address pops up in a new tab.
I realize it's an Apple app, but can't we follow some standards? (Clearly, I don't own a Mac, so your Mac standards mean nothing to me.) Which, depending on how much of a stickler you are for an aesthetically unified computing experience, Safari's steadfast refusal to pick up any of Aero's UI elements might drive you a little nuts. The sole tiny corner for resizing the window is bothersome to boot, since I'm used to just grabbing and dragging.
Final thoughts? Definitely worth a download. You might like it, you might not, but overall it's a solid experience.
WWDC 07 [Gizmodo]
Safari 3 Public Beta [Apple]