Howdy - this is my first post, so please be gentle
I am very happy with the 1.4 firmware upgrade. I did it this weekend, the instructions clear and easy, and it only took about 15 minutes. While there was a warning that I would need to re-download my books, this did not happen. All my books were still there (both those that came with, and those I added), with all my bookmarks. The "finished" status of books I have read was maintained. Well done to the app support team for a very good upgrade process.
I have had my Kobo for about a month, and I have read 14 books on it so far. I am delighted with its performance, and the firmware upgrade seems to be a reasonable improvement. I have no complaint about the automatic sleep mode and power down - I very much like them. I do not find the 30 second bootup time to be a problem if I have not used the unit for a while.
I have also not noticed any particular problem with battery life, so I cannot determine if the upgrade made a significant improvement. I have taken my Kobo on the road for a 5-day trip, and in that time I read three books virtual cover to cover, with plenty of battery to spare.
In summary, I am very happy so far.