Gnome is really slow. Opera starts in 9 to 14 seconds, Nautilus needs at least 4 seconds. That's when no other programs are running.

I've moved Beagle to weekly and disabled automatic in search settings (but Top says he's still sniffing about) - didn't quite understand what to uninstall, since the packages described here weren't the same as I had.

Top also says:
Cpu(s): 29.4%us, 17.2%sy, 1.0%ni, 44.1%id, 8.1%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.3%si, 0.0%st

CPU & mem usage from TOP:
2 4.3 0:03.85 beagled
2 2.2 0:02.72 gnome-terminal
2 3.7 1:08.44 X
1 0.0 0:01.40 ksoftirqd/0
1 0.0 0:01.10 ksoftirqd/1
1 2.3 0:04.54 gnome-panel
1 3.8 0:02.36 nautilus
1 0.3 0:00.74 gvfs-hal-volume
1 14.7 0:23.26 opera
1 0.2 0:00.02 ifup
1 0.2 0:00.02 SuSEfirewall2

And even when there is only 4 processes using 1% or 2% CPU each - system monitor still says 62% is being used.

Machine:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core PRocessor 6000+
1 GB Mem.
MSI K9A2 Neo2 Digital Motherboard