Auto-upgrade failed, but I actually didn’t expect it to work given past experience with .x level upgrades. The manual upgrade, however, went flawlessly and took less than 10 minutes. The auto-upgrade seems to work on .x.y level version changes, but this is the second time that it has failed at the .x level, and is likely more a function of the hosting than the WordPress software itself. From my perspective, the manual steps to upgrade are easy enough (at least for me), that it really isn’t a big deal.
The biggest thing I notice about the new version is that it seems faster, which makes sense given some of the changes they have made to the underlying blogging engine. Now back to work on that updated theme for the blog… No, really. I’m working on it. Really, I am.