I've done a small test because since I've changed the OS on my laptop to Arch I was wondering how does the boot time of both computers compare.
Desktop PC is running Ubuntu Linux 9.04 x86_64 on Intel QuadCore Q6700 @ 2.66GHz , 8GB of RAM and two 7200 Seagate NS 500GB drives in RAID0 (yes , I've got backup :-)), MoBo is ASUS P5Q-PRO.
Laptop is Arch Linux 2009.02 i686 on Asus eeepc 1000h - standard with upgraded RAM to 2GB.
Boot time is measured (in seconds) from the moment of pressing the Enter key on the GRUB menu item to the moment when there is useful desktop with loaded icons (Gnome) and mouse pointer ready for action.
eeepc - 47,52 sec
desktop - 41,24 sec - WINNER
Shutdown time is measured (in seconds) from the moment of executing halt command to the moment when the computer is completely switched off.
eeepc - 16,23 sec - WINNER
desktop - 28,94 sec