I've begun to actually sink my cyberteeth into online SFIV. Some thoughts:
The lag is negligible against an opponent with a yellow signal strength, though orange is acceptable. Still have never seen a green. I prefer to select Ranked Match -> Create Match and kick any weak signal opponents. I imagine my fiber optic internet provides me with a pretty strong signal strength indicator, though I don't currently have a way of knowing. Never too tough to find an opponent. Still haven't hooked up with HC13's bro yet; hoping our geographic proximity might result in a green connection.
Been playing a lot with the Red Cyclone, and somewhat as the Boxer and Guile. I'm just below 1000 BP at last check. I feel my main is pretty solid, though I really need to bust out more EX Banishing Flats, and probably give up on my scrubby EX Running Bear tactics. Against some jump happy players (notably a Dictator and a Claw), I was able to use the vertical jump headbutt to get a quick stun, and then start the fierce Atomic Suplex, crossup, fierce Atomic suplex, repeat routine. I've also picked up the habit of starting all matches by moving backwards with multiple Quick Lariats to build meter.
Probably my favorite matchup is Gief versus a keep-away Akuma. It's simply a matter of maneuvering through Zanku Hadoukens, Messatsu Hadoukens, regular Hadoukens, and the double EX Zanku Hadoukens to try and throw Akuma before he teleports away. Really tight trick I picked up on the SRK forums is to spam Gief's far standing roundhouse. It moves him forward significantly faster than his walk, sneaks under a lot of Zanku Hadoukens, and occasionally catches back jumpers. And in more than one instance, I've demonstrated a simple axiom of Ultra grabs: Ultimate Atomic Buster > Wrath of the Raging Demon. Raging Demon start up, empty back jump, UAB, good game Akuma.
I face a lot of Ryus. Probably close to 50%. Some scrubs, some not. Fought one excellent Rose who was using the Arcane Fox title and had ~3200 BP. I thought it would be an easy match, with the Soul Spiral apparently being so easily punishable on block, but this bitch never used it outside a combination. Nailed every jump with her anti-air throw, too. Dirty gypsy bitch.