Some of those bugs you linked to have actually been fixed in 1.9, because of the general performance work (led largely by Martin Langhoff) which was precisely to help larger sites (and has delayed the release for another month or more).
The rest, well, I'm not personally in any hurry to release 1.9. Sometimes a release is what it takes to get people really testing the code. Yes, we need more people getting involved and helping us fix stuff!
General developer forum
MOODLE_19_STABLE branch being created later today
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