New World News reports that Radegast, a light SL client, is adding graphics. The version with graphics is not out yet, but there is a YouTube video showing what it looks like.
If you've been following the discussion of mesh "PE" (prim equivalence?), it's been mentioned that about a third of SL users have "class 0" (inadequate, e.g. Intel integrated graphics, or obsolete) hardware. That influences that PE decision as well as what features get implemented in LL's SL client. More bluntly: the SL experience of two thirds of residents is constrained by the one third with class 0 hardware.
Could LL please consider this: once Radegast has graphics up and reliably running, just point folks with class 0 hardware at it. (This is somewhat problematic because Radegast doesn't have a Macintosh version, but if it did...) Then LL can proceed without having to take class 0 hardware into account.