WordPress users out there might find the latest post from Sameer Borate interesting if they're looking to squeeze the most performance out of their installation. It's a guide to using the FirePHP plugin for Firefox to benchmark your WordPress install's SQL.
The first thing you can do to rectify the situation is to find out where exactly the bottleneck resides by analyzing the time each SQL query takes to executes. Some inquisitive people among you may also be interested in knowing in what sequence the Wordpress SQL queries themselves are being run.
His method of benchmarking the SQL for the application uses some of the built in query logging in WordPress and some code dropped into your footer of your template to grab that information and push it back out to the waiting FireBug panel in your browser. The result looks something like this.