I've been using chrome primarily since ifs release in 2008 and absolutely love it. I left IE for Firefox. and used it for a number of years before moving to chrome, somewhere in there I used Opal for a short while but have no real memories of it, either good or bad.
One word of caution, chrome is my browser of choice and I use it 99.9% of the time. However, I still keep both Firefox and IE on my computers. On rare occasion, I will find certain sites or specific functions on certain sites that will not play nice with chrome. Whenever weird unexplainable things happen, I've become accustomed to trying a different browser as troubleshooting step number one.
In fairness to chrome, I've seen occasions where the opposite is true...I've had users fighting strange issues with IE, had them try Chrome, and like magic, it works!
And yes...I think it's Chrome's minimalist approach that keeps it fast.