A big thanks to Oleeblood for his/her custom build of Blender 2.47 over at graphicall.org. The build fixes the bad graphics problems on Intel MacBooks with the dreaded GMA 950. Since the OS X 10.5.5 update, which completely broke using OpenGL profiler (documented here) to tweak the double buffering, Blender has become completely unusable on an Intel MacBook.
This custom build works really flawlessly. All features, including the gui and tricky stuff like sculpt mode, is crisp and responsive.
One big caveat: DON'T RESIZE THE WINDOW. Don't zoom it, don't grab the lower right corner. If you do, immediately the gui goes into gruntingly slow mode and the app becomes very crashy.
So long as you don't do that, you're good. Even if it's not 2.48, there's a lot to love here.
Many more thanks to Oleeblood for making this available.