You may have noticed my own complaint five months ago, Awesome bar has no delay before searching. I found out recently this was actually fixed (to have no delay) in bug 430461. There is a bug requesting a delay, bug 435576.
However, there's another change in Firefox 3.1 you may like: you can pick which items the Awesomebar searches (fixed in bug 424557). Your options include: Bookmarks & History, Bookmarks, History, Nothing. Nothing effectively disables the awesomebar, which a few of you hate.
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