So Minecraft 1.7.2 is on our server now. There seems to be a few occasional lag spikes, but so far it’s been reported to not be too bad.
We are running a purely VANILLA server at the moment, at least until Bukkit has a 1.7.2 release.
Death counters are enabled (a la MindCrack) and the difficulty has been bumped from Normal up to Hard. (Your’s truly has 20 deaths as of this writing.)