I have not used Netscape for a couple of years now. The reason I stopped was because of all the extra stuff it loaded on. Have they toned it down a bit or is it still full of things I don't need or won't?
Yep, Mozilla is definately free, in all senses of the word.
Once you've grabbed Mozilla, you might want to take a look at MozDev where you can add some extra spice to Mozilla - like a spell checker (due to land in Mozilla proper at the 1.1 stage), mouse gestures, themes etc. You'll probably find PluginDoc particularly useful
I only use IE now for fetching the inevitable security fixes from Windows Update