First off, this really needs to get fixed. I'm downloading blocks for at least 8 hours now, and it's still not done. I know the problem of having to download the entire block chain is being worked on, but I feel it's already out of hand. Setting up an application should take something you would measure in minutes, not hours or days. (After spending the entire night, it's now 4:15am, I would estimate the setup time to be two days.)
Also downloading can be much optimized as it is. It's far from using my maximum download speed, and being connected to one peer is as fast as being connected to 8+ (yup, also tried port forwarding).
Is it normal that downloading blocks goes slower, the further you progress? The first half (out of 194.000) went in the blink of an eye, after that it became less and less fast. Now at 20.000 blocks remaining, progress comes in bursts, but there can easily be 20 seconds of inactivity and when it bursts it's like 10 blocks.
Is this normal behavior? And also, why doesn't the number of connections make any difference for the speed at all? If it works like Bittorrent, which some describe it to work like, it should get faster with more people who can upload to you (more connections).
I've Googled, but all I've found is that it takes a few hours and that it may get stuck. It's not stuck and taking as long as people describe it to be, but I just wonder if it's normal that it's going slower and slower, and why it doesn't saturate my download capacity (like BitTorrent) no matter how many connections.