I promised to talk about the boot time in Fedora 12. It's still very fast, but I hadn't recorded how long it really took to come up. So I ran that test this weekend.
I used a digital stopwatch to record my timings. While this is not exactly scientific, I repeated the tests over several boots and got similar numbers. To remove the question of how long it took the laptop to check memory (POST at boot) I always started the timer from the BIOS "select my boot device" menu, starting the stopwatch at the same time I hit Enter on the boot device I wanted. I'm most interested in how long it takes to boot the system (from BIOS), login, bring up Firefox, and display a web page (Google).
To compare, Fedora 11 took about 1 minute 7 seconds from a USB thumb drive. Vista still takes 2 minutes 4 seconds on the same laptop, but from the internal hard drive.
Things are the same after moving to Fedora 12. I timed my Fedora 12 system at the same 1 minute 7 seconds to boot, login, bring up Firefox, and display the Google front page.
If you're keeping score: There's a slight difference between how Fedora 11 and Fedora 12 were installed on this USB thumb drive. In Fedora 11, I encrypted the whole volume. But when I installed Fedora 12, I only encrypted the "/home" filesystem.