If you run it with verbose logging, you can see there is a lot of messages that you don't see without verbose (was the same for 0.9). If you run the slave that way, do you still see a pause between timestamps?
I'm also a Reality user with similar file counts to a scene, and the new setup logic typically takes about 2.5-3.5 minutes on local LAN, and about 7-8 when connected in remotely via VPN (assuming all the files are already cached on the slave, such as after restarting to tweak something). On local LAN in the office, that's similar/faster than what 0.9 was for me, and for VPN, it's WAY faster since it doesn't have to re-transmit all the files (and at this point, I've got a lot of my common textures, IBLs, etc., cached on the slaves from usage).
There is still the random slave crash on startup with the new network logic, though, which I haven't been able to figure out how to reliably reproduce. And it hasn't happened since I asked Lord CRC to include the .pdbs with the testing builds so that we can provide more detailed info when it does crash (assuming you have a debugger on the machine).
FWIW, I'm running the 2012-05-28 build from the weekly testing forum on Windows 7 64-bit.