get rid of at least 90% of your images and replace them with css and html.
And if you think the current load looks bad, check it on a slow dialup connection.
Drop overall page size, including images, down to the minimum required to create the look and feel. Stop slicing and use images discreetly, in conjunction with css styling.
You can't make data flow faster over a connection than the connection can handle. Average dialup speed: 5 KiloBytes per second. Add together all images, plus page html file sizes in kB, divide by 5, and you get the number of seconds required for your page to view. My goal for dialup page views is around 5 seconds for first page load, or less if I use compression on the html.
The only way to get basically instant whole page displyay is to use very well crafted html and css. Then it's instant. Less than one second to view next page once css is loaded, over dialup.