Pre-launch Firefox and have it wait for Tor to connect
We probably already have this complaint, but I couldn't find an open ticket in trac. Consider this user feedback.
Ali from Tehran, Iran left a long, detailed voice mail today. He says the #1 reason people don't use Tor in Iran is because it takes too long to view a webpage. He's measuring the time as from the time he clicks on the 'Start tor browser' icon in windows xp through the time he can type in a url. It's taking him 60-90 seconds on average. He says he did 10 trials over three days.
He double-clicks 'start tor browser' and waits. He sees the vidalia control panel and the 0-100% progress bar, which takes 40 seconds on average in Tehran, and then nothing happens for 20 seconds, and then firefox starts up, and roughly another 10-30 seconds for check.torproject.org to load and tell him he's using tor. He can now type in a url and go to a website, such as balatarin.com, which will take anywhere from 10-30 seconds to load in TBB.
He compares this to his VPN. He clicks on the VPN icon, in 5 seconds it is connected. He starts up Firefox in 2 seconds. It takes 3 seconds to load the same site as he used to test before, balatarin.com.
10 second vs. 60-90 means no contest in his mind.