User activity is pretty low nowadays, ekafithra.
However, there is a lot of useful information if you can find it.
I know it's saved me a couple of times already.
I would suggest building a full hard drive image using an external backup software like the ones you mentioned. You'll notice threads related to restoring factory image is getting more popular as people are starting to sell their units...
Slow is a relative term. Are you comparing the response to your iphone? It will never be that smooth. It is quick for what I expected it to be: something smaller than a netbook that has a full PC operating system on it.
I find the greatest improvement in response by turning off 'visual styles on windows and buttons'. Sure, it looks like you're running Windows95, but boy is it fast!
There are a number of other threads that profess to increase performance by disabling/removing drivers and such... I'm not a big subscriber to that.
I did pick up a small USB drive and use Readyboost. By my anecdotal account, it does improve performance somewhat.
Others have replaced their hard drives with SSDs (flash disks, basically a huge brick of memory).