so this is not robot related but rather internet related.
do you ever suffer from slow response times on your internet connection?
often it is not your connection that is the problem but rather your DNS server.
DNS servers are the machines on the internet that change hostnames into IPaddresses.
eg, societyofrobots.com is at IPaddress 22.214.171.124.
you could type the actual IPaddress of 126.96.36.199 in to your browser but societyofrobots.com is easier to remember.
another way to look at it: DNS servers are the "telephone directories" of the internet.
the problem is, some (but by no means all) ISPs run crap DNS servers.
they can justifiably claim fast up/download speeds in their brochures while the latency of their DNS server gets ignored.
while it is possible test the speed of your DNS servers manually, i was just referred to this nice little script that does it for you:http://code.google.com/p/namebench/
don't get too hung up on the output. a difference on less than 100ms has a low impact on usability.
if your DNS servers are more than a few hundred ms slower than another option though it might be worth changing.
another thing to note, this script only gives you a snapshot at the time you run the script.
it's probably worth comparing the results at a few different times of day. (or just running it as a test when your connection is particularly sucky.)