Yeah, I saw that article, way too complicated for me.
Fortunately, my home-built caching system is working better than it did in earlier tests (or at least as well, back when I was trying to improve 9 sec load times, not 25 secs). The sites bogs down occasionally, but I'm not sure why it's not always bogged down, with GBot and BBot churning away. It should take about 3 months for most of the pages to be added to the cache and I feared that improvement wouldn't be significant for a few weeks at least.
The caching system introduces so much complexity, and I had forgotten to consider that when I view a page (which displays additional admin links/tools not meant for the general public) *my* view of the page would be cached and then available to the public.
I will, however, try putting some of the auxilliary info under Ajax control. These are essentially summary/stat views of the main content, heavy use of lookup tables or at least moderate use of mulitple queries. I might be able to Ajax a tiny portion of each record that *is* in the bulky main content. Most of this content doesn't need to be seen by the crawlers.