Text quality from websites noticeably inferior to Internet Explorer, is there a fix for this?

The quality of text on websites is quite poor with thin type and fuzzy definition, however pictures are good. The quality is noticeably worse than IE8 on the same computer.

Firefox uses your system-level setting for ClearType font anti-aliasing. Internet Explorer has a separate setting so you can use ClearType in IE even if you aren't using it system-wide. This might explain why you see a difference.
Can you check your ClearType setting using the steps in this article:
[http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306527 HOW TO: Use ClearType to Enhance Screen Fonts in Windows XP (MSKB 306527)]

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