Why so much resistance to re-installing the OS? It's something that we all need to do occasionally, and if you don't know how, there's no time like the present to learn. A complete "nuke and pave" in the absence of any hardware problem is just like getting a whole new Mac - all kinds of hidden problems that just cause slowdowns rather than crashes are swept away along with the big nasty ones.
Actually, I'm overdue for a nuke & pave myself - my Finder and Mail.app have been a bit flaky since the 10.2.8 update. There's no point in doing it now, though - I'm waiting a couple of weeks for Panther time.
Cheers :-> Bill
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
- Bill Cosby