I went in and disabled all the non-Microsoft and nonessential addins that load without permission. Most of them weren't currently loaded.

I had a substantial speed increase in page loading time.

Particularly with Hotmail, which went from being "meh" fast to being practically faster to bring up than Gmail.

So:

1) Is there a bloody better way to manage addins in IE than the terrible dialogue the Internet Options?
2) Why is there such a tremendous speed increase from disabling a bunch of ActiveX controls (none where BHOs)? Sure, I can speculate as to why, but it seems idiotic - IE would slow down the more websites (and stupid "addins) you installed.