@ Citizen Kaned
I used to "prefer" the features of Firefox despite its lack of reliability and its tedious slowness. Then I pared down my list of plug-ins to those I actually *require*, and showed the door to all the rest. No half-hearted "oh but I might, one day...".
The result was magical. My eeePC (no swap file, 1Gb onboard) rarely runs out of memory browsing in more than five tabs (got twelve open as I write this!). No random crashes. No unexplained freezes. Firefox is now reliable, and is capable of being open and coexisting with other applications. In fact, I know I can plug into the NAS and watch a movie and leave Firefox in the background, and when I come back, nothing will have changed!
I suggest if Firefox is acting like a pain in the ass, get rid of ALL of the plugins and extensions and clear your cache/cookies and install things one by one.
For what it is worth, here's my selection: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collection/heyrick [I also have FreeDownloadManager helper plugin, but that comes with FDM, not from Mozilla]