sounds about right - it does take a while to get up and running..
there are alternatives to netscape's browser though (unless you happen to use netscape / aol web-mail, in which case you're wedded to the netscape messenger mail client..)
for gecko-based browsers, try mozilla firefox / firebird - lightweight and fast, or galeon (part of gnome project) - another nice browser..
then there's konqueror, which i use and very much like
opera is nice, but it's closed-source
or internet explorer running under wine - lovely