Just wanted to give everyone who's curious an update on this situation.

I ended up comparing just Feedtools and Syndication, since the others 
were not as feature-complete as I would have liked.

In our system tests, Syndication performs a lot better than Feedtools, 
but I won't publicize the results here since those are specific to our 
system.

In just the parsing portion of parsing 
http://www.digg.com/rss/chandrasonic/index2.xml (grabbing 40 entries, 40 
titles, 40 dates, etc etc) Syndication took 0.062467 seconds of total 
time and Feedtools took 4.227067 seconds of total time.  This level of 
performance difference is highly reproduceable and I am using this 
specific feed just to show some numbers.

Syndication does have some downsides however.  The programmer must 
specifically whether a feed is RSS or Atom since Syndication has no 
built-in distinguishing mechanism.  Syndication also seems to have 
incomplete time-stamp support.  Slashdot time stamps, for example, 
doesn't work for me.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on Ruby, RSS feeds or benchmarking, but 
just wanted to share my results.  Thanks Bob for all your help along the 
way.

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