I've been doing tests loading my wordpress site on browsers which do not have my site cached. Half the time it's quick, half the time it could literally take up to four minutes to load.
This particular site is media heavy with photography right now. I have the nextge4n gallery plugin and podpress plugin. The nextgen gallery plugin is configured to spit out 50 thumbnails in the right column (2-3k per thumb). I haven't used podpress yet, but I'm getting there. I mention podpress because it's included .js file is huge. Actually so is nextgen gallery's.
While my site is pretty large with all the thumbnails - not even counting the larger images as part of articles and layout graphics, I'm still much lighter than some popular media heavy sites that load in well under 30 seconds.
I've used some of those speed test sites that give details, and I do see where some problems lie, but there is little to change since everything is needed or as far as images, what I want on my site and the plugin requirements. Once I start really using podpress I'm sure I'll get a chance to clean it up a bit, but right now I'm really frustrated. The site is just how I want it, but I feel powerless to speed it up.
Just looking for wordpress suggestions before I weight it down even further with podcasts and larger scale images.
***Edit to add:
The real issue with the long load times is that the page doesn't trickle in; it stays blank, then loads everything all at once.