if this is only happening with media monkey, then my guess is there's a problem with the d/d component just like with nero. when i have a chance, i'll install media monkey to see if the problem can be fixed
as far as speeding things up... there's really not much i can do outside of removing safeguards that check for not only specific file extension, but that it's actually a valid media file when it finds it (this makes for faster list building once initial hdd search is done).
It would be nice to have a drop down box of artists to add to the genre search.
if you want to look for a specific artist, then use the keyword search and enable exclusive. there are WAY too many artists out there to properly build a complete drop down list for this.
if you want (i don't know what you listen to) but say 'prince' and 'depeche mode'. then just put in the keyword search: "prince,depeche"
that will give you only those artists (unless you have some cross-mix track with both those names or other tracks with those names specifically in them). that's about all i can do for now. i could (in the future) build in a user built list where you'd put in your own list, but i think that would be counter productive.