I've experienced the same problems, other than the designer, mostly because I haven't spend that much time, I'm not really bothering with cosmetics at this point.
Last night I had a CTD in and around turn 280-290. The stuttering gets pronounced about 100 or so turns before the CTD happens, and you can see the stuttering getting visually worse. This is brand new circa the last mini patch.
I've got a 10 gig bank of ram, with 8 logical cores, and everything that isn't needed is shut off, and I still experience this problem.
GPU is 2 gig, but nothing to write home about, however, it was working perfectly fine when Beta 2 was released, so I'm inclined to think its a software problem.
My ex-roommate and I typically play multiplayer on the weekends, but last weekend we didn't bother, its too unstable. The weekend prior, we had 3 crashes in rapid succession, the weekend before that, we had 6 games fail on us over 2 days.
The weekend before that, smooth as silk, reloading, saving, shutting down, relogging, the only thing we couldn't do was re-enter a multiplayer game. Game ejects were still show-stoppers.
Anyways, the point of this long-winded diatribe is, I agree, and here's some anecdotal stuff that proves nothing.