I am using the msi 1.9.2a0 windows installer for py2.7 from the downloads tab here, dated 2013-08-29.
Below I have a screenshot of 3 screenshot clips. The center is pygame 1.9.1, the left and right are both from 1.9.2a0 using pygame.freetype (same goes for ftfont, of course), antialiased and aliased, respectively. Font sized used is 13. As you can see, the * character is hardly distinguishable as *. Same goes for other intricate characters, like ~. I tried with a handful of fonts, including default windows fonts, and they all suffer from this. (to varying degrees, depending on font.) I found doubling the font size and then using pygame.transform to scale it back down to be significantly clearer than rendering directly to desired size.
I have attached the font used in the screenshot.