I've seen complaints about flash performance. Would it be possible to use WINE as a plugin to firefox in order to get better performance out of flash? (Hopefully WINE would utilize some sort of hardware optimizations) Would using WINE even give better performance?
At best you could get this to work by running the whole browser in wine but that would be sure to decrease performance not increase performance.
The best way to overcome poor flash performance is to download videos instead of streaming them using tools such as abby (also: clive, cclive, youtube-dl). All of these are available from the Ubuntu Software Centre.
When I have 150 or more tabs open (not so uncommon for me) – or even just 20 :) – this really helps, yet I can still click to run any Flash applet I must use.
It won't help. The main problem with flash is that it can't use xv output and Wine won't help you with that. Pulseaudio also seems to help with bad flash performance, so you could try a different sound server. I wasn't successful with that on Lucid tho.
For YouTube, Vimeo and Blip.tv you could use my FlashVideoReplacer extension, which replaces the embedded video with available mp4 in order to play it with other plugins. CPU usage is reduced a lot.
Also see my tutorial on flash optimization for other alternatives:
Pipelight! It's running flash, shockwave, silverlight and unity player through wine http://fds-team.de/cms/pipelight-installation.html