The ONLY difference in the traffic is that (because the local site is served from the Django development mode server) the response headers look like this:
HTTP/1.0 200 OK Server WSGIServer/0.1 Python/2.5.2 Date Thu, 04 Sep 2008 23:56:10 GMT Vary Cookie Content-Length 2301 Content-Type text/html; charset=utf-8
Whereas on the staging server (where Django is running inside Apache) the headers look like this:
HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date Thu, 04 Sep 2008 23:56:06 GMT Server Apache/2.2.8 (Ubuntu) mod_python/3.3.1 Python/2.5.2 PHP/5.2.4-2ubuntu5 with Suhosin-Patch Vary Cookie Content-Length 2301 Content-Type text/html; charset=utf-8
So, as far as I can tell the only differences are HTTP/1.1 vs HTTP/1.0, the server identifer (Apache vs WSGIServer) and the order of the Date/Server headers.
To elaborate a bit further on the differences in appearance, basically it appears as if the version of the site on the staging server is "zoomed in" by about 10%. For example, the primary logo which dominates our home page is 220 pixels wide but when server from our staging server shows up as 245 pixels wide. Everything else on the page, (other images, text, spacing, etc) is also proportionately larger.
This is all in Firefox 3. I don't have any other browsers available to test with at the moment.
Has anyone else encountered any bizarre behavior anything like this before? I am at a loss.