@austinwendt - you saved the day (and very good timing). I was just about to kick off a non-aggressive (not my style!) but somewhat blunt post about how surprised I was with my experiences. But I am encouraged and respectful of your reply. Thank you.
So, let me give you a quick update and ask some questions. Having seen - somehow (see below) - your product perform well, I am actually quite motivated to resolve all this. So I will answer any questions you have, if it will help us get closer to a resolution. For the record, I worked at a certain very large company (one beginning with M and with lots of Windows! :)) so can help dig in somewhat technically, as necessary.
I don’t know exactly how I did it bit I THOUGHT I created a site yesterday that was outside of c:\users (based on this thread). I ran it and it was flying. So, problem fixed I thought.
However, now I try to do some more work I am not able to create anything outside of c:\users (I am sure you are familiar with that message). I have no idea how I did did that yesterday! But that aside, even if I use c:\users (still outside of Local Sites), the performance is unusable. Literally minutes between pages.
As I say, I am more than happy to provide any more information. Thank you again for the timely response and also for updating the document.