Re: Main Menu startup delay very annoying
If you make a drawer on the panel somewhere and put the regular "applications | places | system" menu in it to hide it away, just by virtue of that being cached when Gnome starts, your main menu will be cached too and open up much more snappily. Why having the bar loaded causes it all to be cached and the main menu by itself doesn't, I don't know, but this terrible hack actually does work.
Windows has and has always had zero TCO, because Microsoft owns it and you never do. You may be charged for the joy of possibly being allowed to use Windows, if you're a good boy or girl. But it's really totally free of ownership costs.