I've noticed the same thing. When I want the task manager under normal operation, it works fine. But if there's a hung program, it sometimes takes up to a full minute to come up or doesn't come up at all.
The solution I've found that works for me is to right-click an empty area of the Taskbar and pick Task Manager from the menu. That seems to do the trick 95% of the time. This trick works in all version of Windows, btw.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS