I have two questions for
all internet users pertaining to how long you're willing to wait for a flash website to load. Before you answer,pls read the paragraph below since I need a more articulate answer than just YES or NO, please.
1) dial up users must be used to some sites taking ages to load, but whether they will wait for yours is another matter - your site may look good and have substance but if the user is impatient, they may leave before your site has loaded; no matter how good your site is.
2) a preloader is a must (so users can see how long they need to wait) but i wouldnt go as far as an explanation - as i said above, dialup users are used to this behaviour.
to improve the situation, you could either split your large swf up into smaller sections (eg just load home page, then load other pages when user navigates around) or add an eye-catching animation to the preloader display to keep the user 'occupied' - it would probably need to be actionscript driven (eg particles) otherwise it would add too much to the swf size
Thanks very much, that's very helpful!