Google Shares Insights On Accelerating Web Sites
While yours is a well thought out comment, from dealing extensively with web site latency for multiple sites, "bleeding edge" is often slower than "simple" or "old".
TL; DR; You won't have to upgrade or buy lightning fast hosting. Just don't bloat down your page with dozens of third party js or tens/hundreds of poorly compressed images and you'll be fine!
The Math Behind the Hybrid Hype
I'm looking for a car and really wanted a Prius. We test drove on last weekend and I loved it (was ready to put down my deposit). One problem though, my wife (6'4") was too tall to sit in either front seat of the Prius. This wasn't just "Wanting more room". She couldn't sit there at all, without a pretty major contortion of her legs just to get the door shut for a 5 minute test drive.
Here are some real stats: Toyota's happily made the Prius about 300 pounds heavier than the Civic Hybrid, so that it enters the "midsize" category of cars. See, cars are categorized by weight, not size. As it turns out, the Civic is larger in every external dimension (H,W,D) than the Prius, and yes - my wife fits in one just fine.
I actually have no problem with the Prius, but it's funny that you get nearly $1000 more tax incentive with the Prius than the Civic as of Jan 1, 2006, because the Prius compares better to it's "weight class/midsize" than the Civic Hybrid compares to it's "weight class/compact". For safety & size, I'd go with the civic.
One more thing - a well equipped Civic with 6 airbags standard (and I would assume Corolla, but haven't done the research) will get 40mpg highway and cost you about $7k less than the Prius.