Linden Lab has announced that server-side appearance will go live across the entire grid this week.
This is it, folks. No more dithering. No more procrastination. No more excuses.
Fish or cut bait. (I started to use an expression the second half of which is "or get off the pot", but decided to be a bit more civil.) This is a major change to Second Life, and your viewer has to keep up. If you don't run a SSA-capable viewer, you're going to be left behind. Over 85% of the users on Second Life are already on SSA-capable viewers. Nobody's going to be sympathetic to those who aren't.
I'm really hoping that older viewers will get flushed out of SL by this change. The platform needs to advance, and it can't as long as people cling to 4-year-old viewers running on 10-year-old computers. That does not mean that they need to change how they interact with their viewer. Don't like the V2 user interface? Run Firestorm in Phoenix mode. Not good enough? Kadah Coba's doing excellent work with his Latency skin to make it even closer; that should appear in Firestorm 4.5.1. Still not good enough? Get Singularity, or CoolVL Viewer (now that Henri seems to have straightened out the current outfit folder handling). There are plenty of choices to run a modern viewer.
Yes, you might have to upgrade your 2003-vintage PC. You've been uncommonly fortunate in being able to run it as long as you have on SL. There are myriad options to get a computer good enough to run any modern viewer - yes, even Firestorm - for not a lot of money these days.
But if you're waiting till you can't use SL any more to upgrade, your wait is over. The time to upgrade was a while ago, but now you're rushing headlong at the brick wall.