Well I've been the unoffical "computer guy" for most of the folks
around me. I cant even count the number of times I have fixed or
installed Windows XP and 98. So I know my oats.( FWIW during the 98
days, i manually used Norton disk defrag to rearrange files similar to
what layout.ini does for Win XP)
On my plain old AMD Sempron 2000 1GB, windows XP vannila takes 14
seconds to boot ( thats after disabling all the unwanted services )
Adding SP1 and all the patches brings that figure upto 18 seconds,
After I install AntiVirus and Firewall software ( Kerio and AVG are my
choice ), It gets to about 20 seconds.
The one time I tried XP SP2 it took 20 seconds to boot out of the box (
and obviously increased when stuff was installed).
Another crib I have is bootvis doesnt seem to run on SP2.
Generally I get the felling of sluggishness on SP2 systems( maybe its
just my imagination, but ....)
I stick to WINXP SP1 + AutoPatcher.