1. Wouldn't it be handier just to install LXDE onto the USB, instead of writing the ISO to it? That way you also get to choose a locale (see point 6). On the download page is a link to the Annoucement, and that goes to the tutorial how to write Hybrid ISO images to USB from either Linux or Windows: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/744
That doesn't include persistence, but that isn't something the average users needs either, I think.
3. USB disks are noticeable slow, and can differ from one model to the other just exactly how slow they are. USB 2.0 average read speed is about 15 MB/sec (best models twice that). USB 3.0 will be somewhat faster, like 25 MB/sec (best models twice that). It all pales in comparison to a good hard disk pulling 100 MB/sec or a entry level SSD pulling 200 MB/sec... Windows 7 may boot faster from a USB, if that is how you compared it, but was it from the same USB device?
5. Well, you have it fixed
You can post a suggestion in the Suggestions section of the forum, if you can name those better alternatives.
6. Default clock format is in your locale, though you can replace "%H:%M" with "%r" if you want 12-hour clock. Point here is you didn't install LXDE, so you didn't get to choose a locale I think. If you have persistence, you can change your locale for time and date formats. See here http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 48#p522958
7. No comment, seems you are anxiously awaiting it to fail on you
8. Pipelining disabled has always been the default for Firefox, as it is for common other browsers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_pipe ... b_browsers
If you follow reference link 8 on that page, you can read exhaustive discussion on that decision.