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My solution is to completely uninstall and to re-install a new copy each time a new version comes out. This happens on multiple machines for me. I'm sure it's a matter of plug-ins conflicting somehow, but I don't have the time or patience to go in there and toggle each one to see what combination is to blame.
When next update appears disable all add-ins (or uninstall them). Close FF then try the update. If it works then one of those add-ins is the problem. Which one would take trial and error and, as you say, that's probably more time expended than necessary.
All I can say is each one has worked spiffy first time, every time. Are you Win or Linix?
Unfortunately, I have enough add-ins to make that a loss of time that wouldn't be worth it for me. Right now simply doing a fresh install (leaving my settings from the previous install) has worked.