I've also encountered the slow bootup problem with Windows 7 on a fresh installation. On my computer on that installation, it took more than one minute stalling on the "Starting Windows" part with no hard drive activity during that time. In total it took about one minute and 50 seconds before it reached the login part and then another minute and a half before the computer is usable. Since I started with a fresh installation, I was able to figure out what caused the problem. As good as Windows 7 is, lots of the older programs that you may have on your computer are not compatible this is especially true if you're installing the 64-bit edition. In my case during the initial installation, everything works great. But gradually I end up with this slow bootup problem as I progressed with program installations. I had to do multiple reinstallations, until I managed to get it right. My next strategy to avoid reinstallation is to do a complete hard drive backup on another hard drive if the installation works fine before installing more programs. Doing it this way would make it possible to restore the installation, if anything should go wrong. Using this method I was able to weed out the culprit program. In many cases, Windows 7 would warn you with prompt if the program is not compatible. If you have at least one Seagate hard drive on board, you can use the free Seagate's Disk Wizard to do this cloning or restoring and backup as well as disk petitioning. With the reinstallation the total bootup time to usability is a little more than two minutes on my desktop computer using the Intel Core 2 Duo e 8500 clocked at 3.2 GHz.
Also when installing Windows 7 64-bit edition, be sure to do it on a single petition hard drive with the secondary hard drive disconnected during installation. I found out the hard way when the installation messed up the data storage on the storage hard drive. Luckily, I did a backup prior to the installation on my portable hard drive. What happened was after the installation, I was denied access to my data on the secondary hard drive. When I clicked on it a prompt would say "you do not have permission". I was able to restore permission to some of my files but not all. In the end, since I have a backup I decided to wipe the secondary hard drive and my "C" drive. and start over. From this experience that I learned, I would only install Windows 7 by itself disconnecting all other hard drive on the computer. It is okay to reconnect the other hard drives after finishing installation. Doing it this way, it did not deny me access to my files after the installation. This is the first time that I have experienced this behavior on an OS installation. This behavior is most likely caused by a much more stringent security level of Windows 7. On my previous Windows installation I have not used encryption for my data.