No I am not talking about loading from HD speed. I am talking about this repainting in parts issue. Windows Start menu paints the parts much faster for me with the same search terms than Start8. Even if I search with the same term again (in which case HD speed would affect it less), it paints slowly. And when I searched for the term "Windows" only the Programs part got shown and suddenly Start8 stops responsing, Explorer crashed before other parts got shown.
Repainting block by block is not a case of redrawing being slow, it is simply a feature to keep redraws to a minimum. If you can show 20 items and typically it takes less than 150ms to get a full search then painting it as each group (programs, settings, documents, files etc) means you may get say 5 redraws vs 20. This saves battery life on laptops, and produces quicker results even if your perception is that it is being slow simply because you see a gap between repaints. In reality you get your results quicker.
On my own personal windows 7 machine I see a similar block repainting system and search results can be somewhat slower than the Start8 ones, it very much depends on what you have installed on the machine.
Do not worry though, we are always looking to improve performance in all areas and I will make a note to get somone to look if search performance can be tweaked further.
Regarding your crash, is that reproducable? Is there anything in the event log that might be useful?