It seems that the font is Bitstream Sans Vera [bold oblique, or whatever it is called]. I noticed a font problem in Konqueror, also. I am convinced that this is an operating system level problem, or desktop environment level problem.
I improved the situation by deleting the font completely. The problem is still there, but the web pages are much more usable. I will continually use the same work around as mentioned in an earlier blog entry, but at least, I will not have to, if I do not want to.
I noticed a peculiar thing, when I deleted the font. The default font seemed to turn into FreeSerif. It is as if the software expected the chosen font to be at a certain place, and when Bitstream Sans Vera was deleted, they all moved up a space, while the software kept looking in the same place.
If you know what is going on, then please comment.