I looked again through this thread today, as I'm again seeing huge speed problems on shared servers.
My issue is specifically GoDaddy, which, as of this week, is almost unusable for working with Atahualpa or other themes with "control panel" type setups. Long load times for theme option pages, followed by complete server hangups, and your site being down for 3-5 minutes. This happens even with one-post, couple pages, no-plugin sites in the first hours of development.
When emailing GD's tech support, I did get this response, which I include for your amusement:
"Unfortunately, the version of WordPress that is available as a quick install is the free version and so there are some limitations that will be encountered."
Hmmm. The "free" version of Wordpress. Well, that explains it! Anyway.
I've used this theme on various clients' (non-GD) hosting accounts and it seems to run fine. Anyone with complex ATA sites, on affordable shared hosting, that can recommend some hosting plans to check out?
I'd love to see a poll or sticky with "tested & recommended hosting providers" and also "not recommended".
Thanks all, for any input!