In order to ring the most performance out of my laptops I often go into the Startup folder and delete all those little pests that applications drop there. Unfortunately, lots of apps use the register (etc.) without adding an Icon to the Startup folder.
Here is a very cool (and FREE) utility to check out your machine's startup applications and decide which you want to startup. You can select and de-select without have to un-install an app that you want to keep but just want to put on hold.
It can also install as a service !!!
It's called "Startup Control Panel"
Mike Lin's Home Page / http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml