Got some speed runs done on my real HW For the 1571cr & 1541 the times were the same. That actually says a lot about VICE Didn't try an external 1571 (though I do have one,) but I imagine it is about the same.
As for the ROM, its not really saving a lot of time is it Admittedly, I got a little fancy with the boot sequence. So it might actually speed things up a bit if I pared it back down to just some text lines. Going to give that a try, but I don't expect it to speed things up appreciably.