I'm finding that the first time I start SQL Developer it takes between 3 mins 30 and 4 mins to start up. This seems far too long. It's installed on a Windows 7 PC in it's own folder in Program Files. What's causing it to be so slow? - virus scanning, JVM startup? Also why are there 3 executables - sqldeveloper.exe in teh root and sqldeveloper and sqldeveoperW in teh bin folder?
Your "Automatically Check for Updates" option may be turned on. You can look at this setting by going to Tools->Preferences->Extensions. When I unchecked the "Automatically Check for Updates" checkbox my startup times drastically decreased. Hope that helps.