I noticed others, like myself, were having some minor difficulties related to the email settings in IPS4.
1) Check what email your are using in the "From" field. Some hosts only allow that email to be one that is created in cPanel, as opposed to an outside service. 2) If you are having time out errors related to your SMTP settings, contact your host. My previous host never restricted certain ports, but the one I am currently using had the port Mandrill uses closed which was resulting in those errors.
Both of those fixed both the PHP and the SMTP email settings for me, hopefully it will help someone else too.
I was finally able to update today. I took a fresh install of Beta 2 along with my updated install from 3.4.7 to beta 2 and had to copy/paste the members, topics, posts, etc into the fresh install. Then had to do a lot of cleaning up and finally was able to upgrade to 3a successfully.
A big PITA but on the other hand I now have my database nice and clean of all those old third party mods I've gathered over the years.
New layout overall I like. Downloads I can understand the complaints. I hate the gallery, I absolutely wish they'd try to make things more like a gallery and less like forums there. I also am anxiously awaiting what Chat will look like as that is another neglected app.
Interesting.. sounds like a major pain the butt for a lot of small businesses. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEgQqQIwBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2F65eca2c2-7bcd-11e4-b6ab-00144feabdc0.html&ei=A3yCVLWbKJawyATqjYH4BQ&usg=AFQjCNGXtSEGfV5Ig750u-Qwle3eWeGLBw&sig2=1CqqPsUVpt1EsGxqld17dA&bvm=bv.80642063,d.aWw