Having discovered that IE6 is indeed the source of my woes as far as long, inexplicable pauses between page loads are concerned, I moved on to Opera, which is the fastest browser I've yet tried, has a very nice intuitive setup, and eliminates those dreaded pauses altogether. I don't even mind the ad banner at the top. However, it also has some serious limitations when it comes to displaying certain web pages, among them the edit page for this blog -- which is just not acceptable. I don't want to have to go to another browser every time I edit my web page!
Mozilla was my next stop, but frankly -- sorry, Wolf -- I'm hating it. Not only has it crashed my computer twice, it won't even sort my bookmarks correctly -- I managed after much effort and a number of entirely illogical steps to get it to sort the bookmarks on a separate screen, but when I call up the bookmarks from the toolbar, they're still all jumbled. What is the use of having a "sort bookmarks" function that a) doesn't work the way it purports to, or at least not in a way that makes sense to the average user, and b) doesn't work universally within the browser? I seem to recall having a similar beef with Netscape years ago, but surely it should be fixed by now.
In short, I am peeved.