1.) I am currently trying to find a professor who accepts the xrender-pipeline-rewrite project as university practical. It seems to be a problem that the pipeline does not fit well in an institute's sector, because it covers many fields but nothing in depth.
So if a professor of TU or university vienna is reading this ... ;)
2.) I gave the LightBeam/Nimbus benchmark another try with the new 180.06 Beta-drivers on my GF6600.
XRender: 6800ms / Software: 7600ms / X11: 16000ms
Although there are still performance problems left (we depend on solid operations on A8 destination, but for now the binary driver doesn't support it for GF6/7), the new pipeline is already faster than software-only.
And this was on a single-core CPU, so no benefits because X & java running simultaneously ;)
The new beta release also disables SHMPixmaps by default now, explaining the bad performance of the X11 pipeline. So there are not many drivers left supporting SHMPixmaps - I guess soon Linux users will start to complain about low performance of swing interfaces.