Note to self: Try out the data=journal option for ext3 and see if it has any effect on performance in desktop systems. This link, while old, suggests heavy read-write loads might see an improvement for read access times.
I have my doubts, personally. It sounds like that was a possibility seven years ago under the 2.4 kernel, and probably with server loads on server machines. I just don’t expect a 550Mhz Celeron running a lightweight desktop to see an improvement in start and performance times by adding to the filesystem load.