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I haven't actually tested either of these yet. I found out about them while at work (stuck using Internet Explorer and youtube is blocked anyway). But the requirement for these are Firefox 3.5+ (I think, but it might be fine with 3.0) and the greasemonkey extension. But these will use the default system player to play the youtube files (it will use the mp4's if they are available) to completely bypass flash player.
Youtube without Flash – This will allow you to stop using the flash based player and use your default player in the browser for mp4’s. In Slackware I think the default is gxine, but you can set it up with mplayerplug-in.
Youtube Perfect – So this has a ton of different options, and includes the one above. One of the cooler ones is it darkens out the rest of the screen while watching something… kinda like Hulu’s night mode.
I really should test this out, but I have shied away from youtube for quite a while due to my low powered laptop and the resource hungry flashplayer. But I since got my desktop back up and have been using that.