I also made another perf gain in my renderer which ended up being bigger than I thought. My old loop used to be:
I just made the Clear call optional based on the scene as most of my scenes have a screen sized background that gets drawn first negating any reason for the clear. I was planning on doing this all along but didn't think it would save me that much time. To my surprise depending on the scene I'm seeing another 50% improvement in FPS. In my in game scene I'm now up to 1000 fps on my laptop which is way beyond anything I dreamed of hitting. I am finally feeling confident that my engine can compete on perf with other casual 2D engines like the popcap one and torque 2D. Now I just need to add enough features to match those too :).