At first I thought it was because of the extensions and addons I used so I uninstalled everything to see if that fixed anything. But it didn't – not noticably anyway. I figured if uninstalling the extensions doesn't fix the sluggishness I might as well switch browsers for a while, at least on the netbook. Thus I grabbed
chromium-browseroff the chromium-daily PPA and apparently have not looked back since.
First thing I noticed is that Gmail and Google Reader definitely ran smoother. I don't have to wait ages anymore for the feed items to show up when scrolling down. Navigating through an article was not the chore it used to be too. And the extra screen real-estate — without extensions — was just the icing on the cake (I'm on a netbook so more screen space is always good).
I know that it's very much a "work in progress" at the moment but for my purposes, it is good enough.