The OpenLaszlo team has been making great progress supporting SWF9, which is effectively a 3rd runtime after SWF7/8 and DHTML. Check out the weather app running in SWF9. With that app you can’t really see the performance improvements, but they are seeing substantial improvements in startup time with the SWF9 runtime. The SWF9 work is now in trunk — you can download the latest nightly build to check it out. (Report bugs in the open bug base)
They are approaching a 4.1, which will be a “recommended” release for both DHTML and SWF7/8.