Chris Wilson has merged his xf86-video-intel "glyphs" branch to the mainline Intel driver code-base, which touches more than 1,000 lines of code, but according to his benchmarks it's accelerating glyphs a whole lot faster.
With Intel Pineview hardware (not to be confused with Poulsbo or Intel GMA 600 Moorestown ASICs) that's found in the very newest netbooks and nettops like the Jetway NC96, his test results are rather favorable.
With x11perf the aa10text test went from 460 kglyphs/s to 617 kglyphs/s with this glyph improvement branch. The rgb10text went from 434 to 610 kglyphs/s. His xlib and xcb tests with Poppler, VIM inside the GNOME Terminal, and Firefox have been favorable too with speed-ups of 1.08x to 1.34x.
His test results along with the merged code can be found in this Git commit. This is good news for 2D, but the OpenGL/3D performance with the Intel Linux graphics driver is horrible compared to the Intel Mac OS X and Windows drivers (and more Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu benchmarks) and frankly is a real loser with the current state of Mesa and their lack of focus on Gallium3D.
This improved glyphs performance will be found in the xf86-video-intel 2.12 DDX, which will certainly be included with Fedora 14 and hopefully Ubuntu 10.10 along with other Linux distributions updating this fall.