Iv'e personally found a dramatic increase in web browsing after clearing the Windows XP DNS cache.

To clear it type the following in a command prompt: ipconfig /flushdns

Load Internet Explorer the fastest way possible

Edit your link to start Internet Explorer to have -nohome after it. For Example: "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" -nohome
This will load internet explorer very fast because it does not load a webpage while it is loading. If you want to go to your homepage after it is loaded, just click on the home button.