The Python PDF generation library reportlab contains a demo/benchmarking application that takes the Project Gutenberg text of Homer's Odyssey and creates a PDF version from it. This text contains 10.437 lines and about 611.000 characters.
The PDF is generated by simply showing each line of the source text, without wrapping or any other advanced text facilities, once using the built-in standard PDF fonts and once using a TrueType font, creating PDF documents with 232 pages.
This is a nice test of raw text output performance and, as noted above, doesn't need any advanced text layout facilities.
In addition to reportlab I have ported the code to Ruby's Prawn, Perl's PDF::API2 and PHP's TCPDF libraries, to have a broader comparison. Note that reportlab has a module implemented in C that replaces various CPU intensive methods. There is an extra entry for that version of reportlab.
script.sh is a small wrapper script that calls the binaries and records runtime, memory use and the size of the created