Ive never understood why WC, compared to most sites I visit is so slow, sure some days it whizzes along, but they are few and far between, over the past year or so it seems to me that download counts are down, comments are down, forums are pretty slow etc.. I would have to blame a god portion of that on site unreliability. Its also been raised by others to me....often.
Maybe I think irrationally but it would seem to me that getting the sites running like most other sites, fast, reliable etc is the most basic of needs to maintain a succesful web presence, It literally blows my mind that here I am, I dunno, 3-4 years later experiencing the same issues as I did when I first arrived. I dont think a day goes by that I'm not tapping my mouse in an aggravated fashion as I wait for pages to load.
I typically am on a clean'ish install, no toolbars, blockers, etc.. and its the same in all browsers.
I love it here but I find myself visiting, like some others, less and less.
Sidenote...the OP said 'almost crash'