First, I finally found and nuked that star-burst pattern in the rain. It turns out that for some textures, compression was destroying the lower res mip-maps, causing the geometry that the rain drops are drawn on to show up as that starburst pattern. It should be fixed for 930 beta 1.
Second, it turns out that the code that converts the 900-format generic instruments to 920-format generic instruments* was being run on the user's airplane whenever a multiplayer airplane older than version 920 was being run. That could cause generic instruments to disappear, appear incorrectly, or just crash the sim, because the aircraft data in the user's plane (once the user is flying) is already in 920 format...if you interpret it as 900 format again, you get non-sense.
I am fixing this for 930 beta 1; there may be other bugs relating to multiplayer and generics, so we'll see if this fixes most of the problems, or others crop up. The panel system is essentially "global" (that is, there is one panel for the user in all of x-plane) but the instrument data is per-plane...so there is always a risk of code mistakes where the multiplayer planes affect the user's panel.
When will 930 beta 1 be out? I don't know. Hopefully pretty soon - when bug fixes make it into the blog, we're usually in the push to get to beta. But I'm working on features on a few fronts, so it's hard to say which ones will be done first.
* X-Plane 920 revised the ACF format from version 900. The file format for generic instruments was pretty much completely changed to accommodate new features like key frames. 920 has code that converts the 900 generic instruments into 920. For example, simple key frame tables are built out of the older offset-scale parameters per instrument.