The Intel Linux graphics stack has been upgraded to the xf86-video-intel 2.7 series currently, which uses UXA for its acceleration architecture, but Intel's graphics performance problems are not yet cured. Ubuntu 9.10 has not yet integrated Plymouth or kernel mode-setting by default or other features that are still on target for the Karmic Koala.
The Ubuntu 9.10 release schedule has the final release of Ubuntu 9.10 planned for the 29th of October. Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 2 is planned for release on the 11th of June.
The Karmic Alpha 1 release announcement can be read on the Ubuntu mailing list. Additional details can be found on the Testing Alpha 1 page. There is no desktop LiveCD of Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 1 but that will begin starting with Alpha 2. In the mean time are server and alternate install CDs for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu.