I have a mid-2010 MBP, with 8gb RAM and an aftermarket 7200RPM hard drive, running Snow Leopard 10.6. I have been using this SL install for about 10 months, and the desktop is barely usable for 3-5 minutes after Finder appears.
I've pruned my LoginItems down to the minimum (which is still a lot...) but I'm betting there's some cruft elsewhere that I can trim.
Googling the issue reveals tons of moronic clean-up-your-mac for idiots guides. Can someone provide a more technical synopsis of OSX' startup process? What are some other optimizations I can perform to speed up startup? Is there a way I can delay startup processes over a larger interval to minimize hard-drive thrashing?
My goal is to have a a usable session within 10-20 seconds of Finder/Launcher appearing. I really don't want to reformat just to get performance back.