Google reader has undergone some changes. It's much better now, but still not my choice. Reader now has an easier to read layout and it's not a chore anymore to make it list stuff in different ways.
They've also reworked their OPML import function, and therein lies the problem. It still doesn't work. No, that's not entirely true. It partially works. After numerous tries, I could not get Reader to correctly import the OPML file I made from my bloglines subscription. The original Google reader wouldn't read this at all, or maybe I couldn't figure out how to get it to work. The experience left me so frustrated I've kind of blocked it. Now it reads most of my subscriptions but leaves out whichever ones it chooses. So Google Reader is close (at least closer than it was), but no cigar.
Why not keep using bloglines, then, Jim? Well, of course I'll continue to use bloglines. It's still the best web based reader out there and has itself undergone some improvements just this week. But every so often, bloglines craps out. I need a backup so I can read all your glorious posts!
So you know what I did? I checked out Netvibes import opml utility. Guess what? It worked the first time, no problem. Now, Netvibes is not really a feed reader, it's a personal start page somethingoranother. But Netvibes is constantly updating and increasing their functionality and they respond almost instantaneously, and even personally, to suggestions and/or problems. Think you'll get that from Google? I doubt it.
Netvibes also lets you make tabs, like firefox does, so as I make folders in bloglines for all my feed categories, I can make tabs for those same categories with netvibes. Which I did. It took a few minutes but it was gratifying since I felt like I actually was accomplishing something, whereas my efforts to get Google Reader to work just left me scratching my head.
But wait, there's more! Netvibes just went live with their Cinnamon release. I'm not sure what changes and improvements have been made, exactly. Netvibes was and still is an excellent tool, so at this point whatever improvements they make are just icing.
Netvibes is still, in my opinion, the most worthy of your consideration as a customizable browser start page and feedhouse. And I know y'all were wondering what I thought.
In case you'd rather use a hard drive based reader, you ought to check out Will's recent comparison of a slew of downloadable desktop offerings. He has way too much time on his hands, don't you think?