Of course it's all sort of pointless because if you actually are doing something where sort speed really matters you should use a sort that's customized for your application. For string suffixes I'm currently using Michael Maniscalco's . For floats you can use Pierre Terdiman's radix sort. Hmm.. I just searched for the link and Google tells me the site will harm me. Better wear an e-condom if you go to coder corner. Oh yeah, apparently Michael Herf has an improved version of Pierre's radix, so just go there.
Actually it's not pointless. Having the std::sort as a good baseline is extremely valuable. It's a sanity check that lets you know if you're doing something reasonable. Good libraries like this are extremely valuable *even when you don't use them* because you can test your code against them and know you're not off in lala land. Stuff like dlmalloc and tcmalloc are great for the same reason; I've never actually shipped a product with either, but I consider them invaluable because I can easily link with them and make sure my allocator is at least as good as they are.