I didn't read the entire thread, but FWIW, I have three Nikon F4's - two F4e's and one F4s. I've had all three since university or thereabouts. I love them. Just took one out lately for a nostalgic joy ride as I haven't really touched them since I bought my Hasey, Nikon D1X and D2X. All the cameras have MF-23 backs and I have four SB-24's and two SB-26's for them. I only have very fast AF-S lenses and I don't find the reports of slow focusing a problem with these lenses.
I've never owned an F5, so I can't compare. I'm sure it's a great camera too. One issue I do know is the rubber armour of the F5, like all the later Nikons - the D1's and D2's as well - have a tendency to fall off after a while. So I've heard.