The time that it takes ArcMap Desktop to pop up the Change Symbols and Edit Symbols dialog boxes when dealing with text symbols is egregious!
This happens whenter using text labels (graphic elements) , or the Symbol Selector under Layer->Properties->Layer Tab. Whenever you need to tweak the font, mask, shadow, character spacing, word spacing, or anything else about any type of text-based element, you are paying this penalty. The Smbol Property Editor for Character sysmbols (the one that shows the table of characters for a font) is also incredibly slow.
These operations occur numberous times per edit session, and waiting 3-4 seconds ( on quad core Intel Core i7 @ 3.0GHz, 16GB RAM, solid state drive) each time is crazy. It seems that ArcMap Desktop is re-reading the entire Fonts directory on the computer every time the dialog box is requested. Cache it somehow please.
An improvement on this one feature could save literally thousands of people-hours world-wide annually.