|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
I --'ed your node because you present a problem without any indication that you are familiar with the background behind the current setup of the site.
A better way to phrase your query would be to ask about the current setup (as I understand it, two dedicated web servers talking to a single database server, web site engine by Everything2 -- see bottom of page).
Doubtless it could be made a little faster by adding more web servers or beefing up the database box (I don't know where the current bottlenecks are) but considering that good old pair Networks is providing the hosting (at some reduced price), we've probably got as much horsepower as we're going to get.
And I imagine that the open source code on which the site is based has been gone over by a number of fanatical programmers and is pretty efficient.
So apart from shelling out some $$$ (as previous respondents have indicated) I'm not sure what else can be done to speed the site up.
Update: I understand that the 'Refresh' problem is one that eats up horsepower and bandwidth -- but I don't think there's a way to prevent it. Once one gets used to Perl Monks, you should never have to refresh your browser -- everything's a link or a button away.