I finished my hack to make friends pages load quicker. Go read and turn it on, if you want to beta test. So far it seems to be working.
I updated my Debian system and now everything's beautiful.... xft2, fontconfig, pango, gtk2, new logjam (with nested "Post as..." menu) ... very cool. If only I had some recent mozilla binaries with fontconfig/xft support. And the new gtk2 gaim. Guess I'll just wait for Debian.