I think you put me ont he right track. There were two problems.
1. Missing the "localhost" in /var/named referenced by named.conf
2. missing "localhost" in my /etc/resolv.conf file
3. before when i would restart the named service, i would get a log entry
Oct 21 14:31:16 testy postfix/local: warning: host not found: localhost
but now all is well and my name resolution speed has improved immensly.