Here's a new fly in the ointment. Every once in a while, I get a message that a script is running on this page that is causing IE problems. If I stop the script, the photo carousel goes wonky and I get logged out of SE. And if I try to log in again, I get a spinning wheel and no log in. If I refresh the page, the login tab is gone.
If I don't stop the script, sometimes it's fine and sometimes it crashes IE all together, and sometimes I have to restart the computer to get everything back to normal.
If I do stop the script, then I need to close the SE tab and reopen it, and I'm logged in again until I get another message about a script.
I'm using IE8 on Vista.