I just finished a test on your page loads using a stop watch. All loaded under 6 sec with most 3 or under.
I am using a DSL 28575 kbps speed from CA to Chicago at this time.
To answer your question about the carts I have installed. Yes I have had a problem. I have been working on it for 6 mos now. To be honest I still do not know where the problem lies. Several things happened at the same time. I moved my hosting company to a new server, Avactis did the upgrade to 1.8.1 and my own internet connection seemed to have problems.
The internet connection was fixed almost immediately.
I then started working with the techs at the server. They are very cooperative and willing to help. I have set with stopwatch in hand for hours trying to pick up some kind of pattern. My own 2 sites are not upgraded to 1.8.1 ... all new clients are running 1.8.1 ... I DO notice they seem slow ... apparently my clients do not. The techs on my server set up a special account on a different server for me to test there. I have yet to be able to check that out. I also purchased space on a new server to test myself. I have not done that testing yet either.
My time is limited right now with a big gallery site that must be finished soon ... it needs Avactis so part of the hold up is the new upgrade (I do not want to be faced with new pages on top of old).
Here is what I have noticed so far. It seems like the browser stalls on entering the page (any page where my 1.8.1 is installed). At first I thought the server was simply not available for some reason. Once the page starts to load it takes forever for the page to fully load. This can range from 20 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes. Nothing consistent on the same pages (I do not have the timer on those pages ... using stop watch ... they are client sites).
What I will do next week (if possible ... it seems of late nothing goes quite as expected) is run a test on the 3 different servers that I have available to me. Alex gave us a code that goes at the bottom of each doc. It displays the exact load time of that page (pretty handy) perhaps that will help detect where the problem lies
I will keep you posted on this thread.
If any of you come across more information if we all post here maybe the developers will know more and we can solve the problem for everyone.
Perhaps if we post our server information with our questions or results that might be helpful too.