Thanks for the compliments, and we'd love to have you help out!
Depending on the type of crash, there's a few different places to check. If VS pops up a message telling you to look in the ActivityLog.xml file, running VS with the "/Log" argument (e.g. "devenv /Log") will write error information out there. If you see
the Windows Error Reporting dialog ("...sending information to Microsoft...") then the Application event log will have some details. Often these are enough to help us find the source of a problem, though some code that will reproduce the error is always appreciated.
If you are able to build PTVS yourself, then running it under a debugger is a very good way to get detailed stack traces (or even make fixes). There are build instructions here:
http://pytools.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Build%20Instructions%20for%20PTVS (note that it does require you to have VS 2010/12 Professional or higher)
Performance issues have to be very serious for us to be able to dedicate developer time to, we are a very small team, but we're happy to accept contributions. As it happens, some of the performance issues with large projects were serious, so you'll see some
significant improvements in our next release.
You can also apply to join the project officially. We're still deciding exactly how this group will help, but it's likely to involve more frequent builds and directed test scenarios (for example, we may produce a build and ask people to try a specific
feature with a particular interpreter). Joining now is the best way to make sure we can get in contact with you when we're ready.