@xpresstuning: I agree with the load times and the general battle pace, but I think IX cleaned up some of the animation time issues that were started by VII and VIII. I mean VIII's summon animations were so long that there was a boost system designed to occupy you while you watched. IX's summons have two animation sets, a long one and a short one. Unfortunately the long version is way stronger so the game actually incentivizes you to watch the long version, but even the longest summon in IX is not as bad as Eden or Bahamut in VIII.
@goliathassassin84: I never knew that trick about getting Quina's blue magic early. I always double back through Gizmaluke's Grotto because that is the only way to max out the chocobo side quest rewards before Clyra, but I have only ever done that to max out Vivi. But putting in the early work on Quina seems like a way more fun way to use her/him. I think Quina is a little like Amarant and Freya, in that they each do so much so well, but don't really snugly fit into one firm role.