What neruo brought up gave me an idea; I think I'm going to pick up one of these as a 'cheap' fix/test:
My iMac doesn't have USB 3, but it DOES have Firewire . . . so that should eliminate any question as to if it's actual processing power I need or if it's a bus/disk access issue.
I'm actually surprised about the linux guys with Mac hate. I understand it's benefits, and I only use Mac OS as a crutch because Xwindows isn't completely familiar to me and frustrates me.
Still, it's a great step forwards from Windows and what Windows has become.
Firewire 800 is faster than USB 2.0, but not THAT fast. You'll see a realistic read/write speed of about 60-70MB/sec over Firewire 800. Most current generation SSDs will exceed 500MB/sec read speeds. You will notice a little improvement due to the SSD having near instantaneous access times though. I wouldn't waste money on a SSD if FW800 is the only connection option. I guess you don't have Thunderbolt?