I don't know if this 20+ mins wait is normal.
1TB is a big disk.
The bottleneck is the speed of USB2
Once it has been formatted, you'll need to make it useable.
My external HDD is ext3, owner:group = root:root, permissions = 777
This works very well, everyone can use it, and I set my personal dirs on it to permissions of 700 ( rwx------ ). This keeps my data "private".
So, once it is formatted, mount it.
Then you (and others) should find it easy to use.
sudo chown root:root /path/to/mountpoint
sudo chmod 777 /path/to/mountpoint
If you give the partition a sensible label, it'll appear as such on your desktop. This is useful when you have several external USB disks. If you forgot to do this when you formatted it, you can do it now:
sudo tune2fs -L MyLabel /dev/sdb1