Outlook 2003 slow to respond

I’m attempting to troubleshoot a problem with Outlook 2003, and I’m wondering if CFP v. 3 may be causing the hang up. Outlook has begun to take forever to display HTML emails in the preview pane, and in fact will hang up for several seconds (seems like an eternity) with a blank screen and “Not Responding” in the blue title bar up top. It acts like its verifying or importing content or something. If I wait it out, it eventually shows the email, but this is agonizingly slow. It didn’t used to be this way, but I can’t pinpoint exactly when it began.

I’ve searched tons of forums looking for a resolution, and even implemented some of the suggestions, to no avail. Perhaps there’s a setting in CFP that I need to adjust? I see the animations taking place on the tray icon during the “hang up” in Outlook. I’ve added Outlook as a trusted application. Any other suggestions?

Some system info: WinXP SP3 (Outlook is SP3 too). Also running AVG 8.0 Free, SpyBot S&D w/Resident shield, and I use MailWasher Pro to catch spam (this works fine with no delay, btw).