If you're like me, you have a lot of software that insists on running at startup. And it seems to take months for your computer to start up.
Part of that is how software is designed. At startup, Windows tries to run all programs designated to run at startup. Essentially, this means that all programs are trying to run at once, clamoring for memory space like a crowd of old hippies clamoring for free tickets at a Stones concert. Things get messy and everything takes too long to start up.
So, paradoxically, the way to quicker startups is to delay startup. If some programs wait a minute before starting, and the programs start in an orderly manner instead of a mob scene, then the total time is less.
It took me some time to find it, but it looks like Startup Delayer is your best bet. You can run it and choose to delay software for a few seconds to a few minutes. It's a neat trick.
However some software is uncooperative. AOL's Instant Messenger is a prime culprit: if it doesn't run immediately, it "fixes" the registry so it will the next time, no matter what you want. You can't wait 30 seconds for AIM to run, after all. Some other software will do this, so once you have set up Startup Delayer, restart the computer a few times and take a look at the entries; anything listed twice is software that does this (on the principle that they know more about what you want then you do). You'll have to forget about the delay for these, alas.
However, it can be a big help, especially if you want to get to work right away.