The last time we closely examined the boot performance of Fedora Linux was in 2008 when comparing the boot times from Fedora Core 4 through Fedora 8. However, with more distributions taking pride in recent months over shortening their boot time -- with Canonical for example having worked towards a ten second Ubuntu boot time -- we decided to see how long it's taking Fedora to put its hat on these days. With the three Intel notebooks we used from our recent Fedora power consumption review, we measured the boot times using Bootchart on the Fedora 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 Alpha releases.
I think that systemd was initially slated for F14, but a few missing features held it back. It is currently in rawhide (F15) and its state is listed as "complete".
In any case though, got to remember that these test systems are LAPTOPS, and not ones of particularly good performance. From personal experience, which involves a little bit of boot tweaking, F13 absolutely CRUSHES every previous version of Fedora, especially with an SSD. The SSD boot time of F13 is less than HALF the SSD boot time of, say, F10 on a 16GB AAO or a 32GB T91, both of which I have personally measured.
I also note a major major reduction in boot time on my old luggable Turion/4GB/nvidia6100/160GB-pata from F9 to F13 didn't try anything in between since it wasn't an interesting machine until nouveau was in a decent and usable state. Mind you, I'm running 2.6.35 on it with some custom happiness . Boot time is way faster than its ever been.
I doubt they never planned for it to stay for F14 final. Probably just wanted people to test it in F14 alpha.
Maybe in the back of someone's mind, but the whole planning and processing for the fedora project is really transparent. Just head over to lists.fedoraproject.org -- its all there. Crazy hard to find anything useful due to the sheer volume of it.