> Real web sites care about stone age browsers like IE6 on XP
I don't think thats true anymore. Many high-profile sites have dropped support for IE6, I think IE6 support is becoming rare for Internet accessible applications, there are still internal line of business applications from the IE6-only era in some organizations though.
Designers are pretty jazzed about the quick release cycle and auto-upgrades because the browsers are converging on standards more then they are diverging and you can more rely on the lowest-common-denominator user having a fairly recent and robust set of working standard features. Also the quick release cycle drives smaller, more incremental changes rather than breakage due to large feature changes between releases.