In the next X-Plane 930 beta (it should post today I think) the rendering settings have two new check-boxes: one to enable the "dynamic" airplane shadow and one to enable per-pixel lighting.
In the last week a number of users emailed me performance numbers via the fps test, and from what I can tell, 99% of performance problems can be attributed to these two new features chewing up resources in a way that 922 did not. When the features are both disabled, from what I can tell, the sim should be as fast or faster than 922.
The new beta will also limits dynamic shadows to your aircraft - beta 13 will calculate a dynamic shadow for every aircraft, which is unacceptably slow when you have a lot of AI planes enabled.
I may still be able to improve the performance of the per-pixel-lighting shader, but fundamentally per-pixel lighting is going to be more expensive than per vertex. The average X-Plane scene might have 200,000 to 500,000 vertices. At absolute minimum resolution, no FSAA, you're going to have over 700,000 pixels even if there is no "over-draw" - you could easily have 10x that fill rate with only a modest increase in overdraw, full-screen anti-aliasing and window size. Simply put, per-pixel lighting is more work.
Please bear in mind: without per-pixel lighting X-Plane's pixel shader is extremely simple. If you have a "low-end" card this could give you the illusion of GPU power when there is really not much under the hood.
Examples of low-end cards: GeForce 7300, GeForce 8400, GeForce 9400, Radeon X300, Radeon X1300, Radeon HD2400. All of these cards are the younger brother of a fairly capable card, but with fewer pixel shader units/cores. If each unit is doing very little work, you don't need that much pixel-filling power...but when we go to a "real" shader, the difference between a GeForce 8400 and 8800 becomes very, very apparent. Simply put, even with optimization the GeForce 7300 (for example) will never run a huge monitor with per pixel lighting and high FSAA.