The lag in swiping back in IE depends largely on the site your viewing. For example, this site works great but other sites like gizmodo take a bit to refresh after swiping back.
As for WiFi, the 8.1 is better for me. After connecting at work, I would always be limited to ~1MB down (still get 14MB up) until I opened the wifi adapter settings, toggled some setting and re saved it. Then it would work fine. After the 8.1 update, this is not required anymore.
Finally, a big change that I noticed is that 8.1 remembers where you were at when you close a metro app. For example, if you are on the desktop and you view a jpg, the metro photo viewer opens up. In 8.0, when you swiped down to close the viewer, you went to the start screen. With 8.1, you go back to the desktop. This is very welcome.
Also, it turns out my printers were there after all. They just don't appear unless they are actually connected.
Your first point about the IE refresh makes a lot of sense. Some websites are stuffed to the gills with scripting, many which are called from other domains (I've had pages hang because it can't pull a stupid ad script from a third party domain), so that definitely doesn't help. I really wish I could limit which subdomains can load scripts and iframes like I can in Opera, gah.
Another issue I have is with touch scrolling. It's smooth but it jumps at the end of a finger movement. Really annoying. IE I scroll to a point on a browser page, I remove my finger from the screen and the page will move or jump up or sown a bit.
Well, that is a downside. At least there's still DropBox and a couple other similar ones. Other users will appreciate the "always-on" tight integration of the cloud with their Win8.1 device (like Surface RT), but it's really not necessary in my case.
The only thing that may persuade me to changing to a MS account login instead of local is the device encryption benefit. Still on the fence. If I end up doing that, then I suppose I'd stay with SkyDrive.
I've noticed the scrolling issue. Also IE now won't render Word documents in a document previewer that it used to render just fine. This is in Blackboard, a "learning management system" website used by many colleges. Links in the desktop version of Chrome don't work when clicked, but scrolling and the touchpad work fine. Edit: links work, it's just that the location on the screen which registers my finger touches doesn't seem to be working.
Both my type and touch covers have stopped working. the track pads work but not the keys. I spent two hours online with MS last night and they cant figure it out. unfortunately I didn't create a recovery usb from windows 8.0 so cant go down that route. MS will exchange it for a new one if I cant resolve over the weekend. Will try the local currys to see if they will let me create a usb recovery disk from on in the store
The new apps included in windows 8.1 such as fitness and food/drink do not work for me at all. When I open them I get a blank screen. I uninstalled them and tried to reinstall, but I then get an error that they can't install on to my system. Anyone else have this issue?
Another thing I noticed is why can't I have 3 apps open side by side at the same time?
I had this happen. All I did was reinstall the latest waocom drivers and now pen working great as before. The new waocom driver really made my pen more accurate. Plus no more pen randomly disappearing or shooting to top left corner of screen. Flawless performance of pen since latest waocom driver download. Even registers corners and edges well.