The posting I made on drupal.org (http://drupal.org/node/346838):
Usage of complex CCKs does come at a performance cost, since, the tables are not optimized.
I have worked on Drupal performance and could get quite exceptional results with few of the techniques for some of the clients. Here are couple of things, that would make your Drupal site run quite fast:
1) Drupal caching that is already in the core. Drupal caches the mysql queries and ccks and views and taxonomies and thus, in a way compensate for the performance loss that we might get by using CCKs/Views (until and unless we are using lot of CCKs with complex content types)
2) CSS aggregation: comes in the core module. simply, enable it
4) Smart optimizer with Drupal: http://www.programmingbulls.com/another-drupal-performance-enhancing-too…
simple to install and does add lot of positives on YSlow!
5) E-accelerator or APC or any other php compiler that makes php bahave as a compiled language. In certain cases, performance was straight 1.5-2x. I don’t have actual results at the moment, but the performance improvement was clearly visible
7) User modules like advcache and boost and block cache
8) loading images from a static domain