Rendering has been significantly sped up by batching OpenGL calls on a per terrain page basis. Thankfully pyglet has support for this kind of thing or I'd be up a creek. FPS ranges from 60 for closeups to about 10 - 20 for birds eye view.
The front end has been unified where it is possible to not only create avatars, but also take control of them by pressing the 't' key while the selector is over them when using the Designer. Pressing the escape key takes you back to the tool/avatar that you were using previously.
Still a long way to go though.