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Validator installation isn't easy - took me some hard work and a couple of trips to IRC to install it on my Mac - but it might be worth it in the long run, especially if you're working with a group of developers.
It isn't developed at the same pace than the W3C validator, but it is perfect for most situations with good friendly error messages.
It isn't the first time that the W3C validator has experienced slowdowns. It is a shame that the W3C are seemingly unable or unwilling to ensure that their most-used community resource works fast and reliably. As far as I know, they are still using resources donated by INRIA in France.