Steve, sorry it's slow, but that's just pictures for ya. At least you're getting 36 thumbnails per page, and you can choose which ones to load the bigger version.
Henry, I think most folks want to start reading at the beginning. If you want to start with the last post, just click Last Post on any thread, and scroll up from there. To pick up where you left off, go to the What's New page, or click First Unread on the thread itself.