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I think the interesting point to get here is that GTK/Clearlooks/Cairo didn't work well right out of the box. What he would have had to do to make them work correctly would have required knowledge he didn't have, and that he shouldn't be expected to have.
He's installing a Cairo-based theme out of a CVS repository, because it hasn't been released yet. It's not expected to work out of the box. He's complaining about the performance of it, even though it's CVS code that the author warns is slow. What exactly is he expecting?