I checked out NeoOffice and while they claim it’s a lot faster on loading, it still feels like it loads slower than Word via Rosetta. Plus the interface is still ugly, and I’m not happy with how it does commenting (you need to mouseover the highlighted text). So that’s out of the running still.
For my personal writing, I checked out Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com) and it looks like a fine, but complicated app. One feature I do enjoy is the notecards, where you can storyboard out an idea and change the order of the cards–very similar to how you’d do it with real 3×5 cards.
In the end, it looks like I’m sticking with Word for a while. I forgot Omni Outliner came with my Macbook and an initial tour of its features and ease-of-use was impressive, so I’ll give it a shot outlining story I’m working on.