Ok, I was about to capture my screen to show you what I mean, and changed the AE workspace from two to one monitor for ease while capturing the screen. This resulted in all of the unresponsiveness (blue cursor/progress bar delay/lag) I have been experiencing practically disappearing.
Could it be that simple - That my machine does not handle dual monitors? Or that my dual monitor setup has not been configured properly. Because this is a completely different world.
The video below shows a workflow I haven't had for a while - I added it anyway to show my preview render speed.
Then I tried changing scene. This "luckily" made the application lag again:
This shows a bit of the unresponsiveness I am talking about.
However, now that I am only using one monitor, once I get past loading between scenes, the workflow seems much smoother. And by the way, once the Ch scenes in my example had loaded once, switching back and forth between my two scenes also works more smoothly.
I think you're unfortunately running into the current constraints of CH dynamic link - 5 1080p 25fps 30-60 second scenes is a decent amount of data to transfer.
In my experience, dynamic link with AE is often the slowest the first time loading things up. For the latest tips video intro title, I had 26 dynamic linked characters, and often the initial load would take a while (and yes, skip frames and lower resolution helped tremendously). But after that it seemed to work pretty well. Now granted, those recordings were only 5-10 seconds apiece, so there was less recording data to sync.
We'll be continuing to work in future versions to make this better, but for now you may want to experiment with stuff like PNG sequence + WAV import instead of dynamic link for characters that you don't think are going to need to change much, viewing in the lowest resolution and most frame skipping possible, hiding comps/layers while working on others, etc.
I'll ask the team if they have any additional tips...