part of the delay is because SD uses google analytics on pretty much every page of their forums (thanks for another brilliant move, devs). if you use FF, you can download an add-on called CustomizeGoogle that, among other things, allows you to block google analytics. the site will still stall while trying to send data to and from the GA server, but the add-on will block it and improve load times slightly.
So then I'm inclined to think that they don't use GA over on impulsedriven since my page load times are so much better there. They also cut the medals out too...perhaps some time delay there to access medal data?
As for the wall-o-karma. Ahhhh, that's what I was wanting to do, but didn't wish to piss on your lawn to do it. Thankfully, digicons are images just like rosie clones...and can be subject to AdBlock-age. But I think this one will stay...it's fun to look at.