I've been using ACDSee for photo management and viewing for over a decade now...and I've been doing editing and some management in LR for maybe four or five years. I would LOVE to do everything in LR, but it's sooooo slow to move from photo to photo and I have a pretty fast computer.
With ACDSee, I can flip through and view ten photos (RAW, tif, etc.) in the time it takes me to move and love two in Lightroom. While I understand LR isn't really a viewing program, but more of an editing/management program, I would think that quickly viewing multiple (unedited) images would still be a priority. If ACDSee can do it, why not LR?
When I finish shooting, I might dump 500 images into a directory. If I use ACDSee, I can zip through them quickly and easily delete the ones I know I don't want. In LR, this is a very long and arduous task.
I have lots of memory, I'm using SSD drives, etc.
Why isn't LR even remotely as fast as ACDSee and is there anything I can do to *dramatically* speed up the process?
I completely understand your situation.
After copying my images from the cards to the hard drive, I us ACDsee to triage, sort, and organize the images. Then I use Lightroom to import only the grade-A images, do one more round of picks/rejects, then edit the picks. When triaging a large number of images, ACDsee is so much faster than Lightroom.
Lightroom HAS to generate previews every time a new image is imported. ACDSee does not.