I installed Firefox some time ago, before i fully appreciated it. Eventually, i realized what it and the addons were, and started having a wonderful experience. I can hardly imagine browsing without NoScript, Cookie Monster, or AddBlock (Edge). Not to mention Lazarus (?), Mouseless Browsing, and a bunch of other useful tools.
When FF3 came out, it was okay, except that ridiculous Awesome Bar which was remedied with Old Location Bar. FF4, removed the status bar, remedied by Status-4-Evar. FF5 or 6, was just too much for me. They didn't fix their changes, they added auto updates (which could not be turned off), removed the menubar (in some version), and started spamming versions for no good reason. Major-number.Minor-Number.Revision no longer meant anything, but Chrome had to be copied. So, i reverted to FF3 and was back to my erstwhile bliss.
Eventually, HTML5 became a problem for me. FF3 did not support it. As more sites used it, functionality was diminished. But, FF decided to allow us to turn off auto-updates, and i upgraded. Issues with the url bar and tabs moving to copy Chrome were fixed with about:mozilla options or by rearranging the bars, and i even upgraded now and then. For the menubar, i had switched to the Mac which forces applications to have a normal menubar. At some point i realized that the menu bar can be shown, so i use it on Windows as well. I am not sure if that option was always there or if it was added at a later date.
FF29 brought the epithet ChromeFox to the fore, as the UI copies Chrome. To assuage users that preferred the old UI, they recommended an addon. I am suspicious, though. If it really was (and is intended to be) optional, why not make the new UI an addon? OK, they want it to be the default. So leave both in the browser. I wonder if the design group uses Chrome as their main browser.
Today, i wondered again why escape doesn't stop anything until i found out they removed that functionality in FF20. Until now i just expect FF not to work as intended, and search for fixes when things bother me enough. Well, today i found SuperStop which implements the classic stop functionality under [shift]-[esc].
I ask myself why i stay with FF at all. The answer is the plugins. NewsFox is my favorite RSS reader, looking similar to Agent which was my newsreader of choice back when i actually followed some. I eventually got used to ForecastFox Weather (hesitating because it reminded me of some other spammy program), and like nifty little thigns like Show Anchors 2 which helps when pasting a URL somewhere. There are others, and then there's Greasemonkey which itself includes others. Addons are what make FireFox good.
I must give Mozilla a pat on the back. Besides saving passwords from early on, which ranks high in awesomeness, FireFox Sync is a close second. I now use FF at different locations and don't have to reinstall plugins or passwords again. Kudos to them for a job well done.
Regardless, i often feel that i have had it with Firefox and wish there was a fork maintained by different people. That is, people who focus on backward compatibility, standard version numbers, and want FF to be FF, not just whatever happens to be popular right now.