I finally decided I’d had enough today and when looking for a solution.
I came across a couple of posts discussing a hotfix available from Microsoft, but it’s apparently not that easy to get a hold of, and its a questionable fix at that.
Then I happened across a short post in a SlashDot discussion that mentioned turning off thumbnails in the Explorer view.
I’ve never heard of that one, so I gave it a quick shot.
First, open the Folder Options:
Then, just make sure the first option “Always Show Icons, never thumbnails” is checked:
Surprisingly, this does seem to a have a pretty dramatic effect on the copying and deleting processes, as well as noticeably speeding up the time it takes to get from a right-click to actually seeing the right click context menu in Explorer. It’s still not instant like it should be, but it’s better than before.
I’ll keep playing with it and post if I discover any other interesting bits about this seemingly easy workaround.