This is more of a helpful information post than a question, but I think it's so important, I wanted to post it to the portal forum.
When WebSphere Portal Server (WPS) starts up, loading pages seems to take forever. Much of this is the fact that every little JSP that makes up the aggregation of the page, from the skin, to the theme, to the column between portlets, and the portlets themself, need to be compiled. It really seems to take forever to get the welcome page up after WPS has been bounced.
Well, apparently, there's a WPSConfig task called 'action-precompile-jsp' that does just that - pre-compiles all of your JSP file on your portal server. After running this taks, when your portal reboots, pages load faster than a man with no arms. It's amazing!
One hitch - on a standard portal, the task can take up to a DAY to run. Yes, a portal can have so many darn JSPs that it can take a full day of clock cycles. So, you should probably run this task after installation, as opposed to running it daily. Still, apparently a page only has to be precompiled using this function once. If the page isn't 'fingered' at any point, precompilation doesn't have to happen again.
Well, that's my goodwill for the day (year?). I really hope that helps speed up everyone's portal server, be it production or even just your sandbox testing environemnt.