XFS has been ahead of ext* for many workloads for a long time, but not for all. In general the more drives you had on a system, and the larger the files, the more likely it was that XFS would be ahead. It's been slower in dealing with lots of small files on a single drive.
that being said, you really do need to test your workload on various filesystems. I've done testing that has shown a 4x performance difference between ext2 and ext3 on a particular workload (fsync heavy small writes, ext2 was the clear winner), so it may not be what you expect.
As filesystems get more complex, the 'best' filesystem for a particular use case will not always be the same one.