4.2.2 received a small (68mb) update to all versions early last week. That stopped the problem of not shutting down (in most reported cases this was the issue) as well as the boot loop. The buttons remain in the middle and for me important, no longer reverts back from whatever keyboard app you use, back to std Samsung keyboard.
Use wise is an improvement over 4.0.4 which was my stock. But not really over 4.1.2