No, it works built-in. I gave it a try by including the firmware blobs in the kernel binary and it boots (and X starts).
@kernelOfTruth: those crashes are there for me too. They happen with fluxbox and vboxgtk. (edit) More specifically, it happens in vboxgtk when I move the mouse cursor over the GtkTreeView with the VMs. Weird.
for me it crashes with fluxbox too, so yeah - something gtk-related / heavy drawing might trigger this crash;
strange thing is, when launching thunar, mousepad (lightweight gtk apps) it doesn't crash, but when trying to launch nautilus, (if I recall right) gedit it produces the mentioned crash
Probably too optimistically, but it does seem to be stabilizing very quickly. Then again, if you count the lack of compiz corruption... hmmm.
The 3D code is mostly common between DRI1 and DRI2 -- this is the upside from porting the 3D driver over to the radeon-rewrite code base a few months ago. Doing that port delayed the 3D driver by a couple of months, but it meant that the move to KMS and DRI2 would be simplified.
That said, I am *still* surprised how well it all came together.