Dont immediately discount things before trying them, and also i bet your girlfrends laptop cost a lot more money then you are running the XP system on. If you payed the same amount of money as you did for the mac i think you would find it would be closer to 35 - 40 seconds, that was what it was for me on a $500 netbook.
Um, did you happen to read the part about my Linux box taking 45 seconds. I paid $100 for the box, the software was <gulp> free.
And not discounting things before trying them - listen, name one product that Microsoft has put out that isn't a complete hack. The only one I can think of is solitaire. Why would I want to give my loyalties to a company with such a poor track record with quality? Especially when a faster alternative is free? If I go out and by a pair of shoes from Nike, and they fall apart after 2 weeks, and then I go out and by another pair of shoes and they fall apart - How many pairs of crappy shoes do I have to buy, hoping that Nike can make a decent product. We've been dealing with crappy products from microsoft for the last 18 years! They should have just stuck with DOS.