I've been using Boat Browser along side Chrome - its nice and quick. Not sure why I haven't made it my default browser yet LOL. I do agree that Chrome is significantly slower than most third party replacements.
I use smooth Rom which upon install with aroma asks what browser you want to install. I chose the stock android browser because I chrome is pretty laggy and it works a charm xD. You don't get all the functionality of chrome, but it adds up to be a much more pleasant experience.
Sent from my HTC Desire using xda app-developers app
Most important to me in a browser is text reflow.
I don't get that on my note with dolphin so i use Opera mobile & Maxthon mobile (by far the fastest browser I've ever found) both give Reflow on my note.
*Maxthon is a good simple browser with some well thought out settings options & one touch full screen button.
Dolphin is trying to be everything while neglecting its basic purpose in my opinion.