Currently WebKit waits till it's loaded the page's CSS before displaying anything. I often find, for unknown reasons (perhaps DNS related) and often at times of high server load (e.g. breaking news story), that it can load a few documents, the HTML, maybe some images, yet nothing is displayed. After a few minutes of staring at a blank page with "Loading 5 of 31 items (2 errors)" in the status bar it starts getting really tedious.
I suggest that, depending on the user's connection, a timeout period is set whereafter safari just displays whatever it's got, regardless of CSS.
• 56k dialup: timout of 10 seconds
• 2Mbit or under: 5s
• above 2Mbit: 2s
The user's connection speed is available/set via QuickTime.
I haven't seen this for about four months, can't reproduce it and never found out why it happened. Closing as WorksForMe. :-)