After banging my head against the wall for a long time concerning the performance difference of my development machine and the production machine, I finally caved in to the feeling I've been having deep down that the processor actually matter a lot more than you'd think.
I changed from an AMD based solution to an Intel based solution (Xeon!), gaining .3GHz and faster disks.
I also gained a performance boost, instead of being x3 as slow as my development machine it's now down to something like x0.75 slower - obviously still not the lightning speeds that my development machine is capable of but it's getting closer.
While debugging this further I noticed that most of the performance hog (which is no surprise really) is coming from LINQ to SQL having to compile queries, what seems odd to me is that once I tried precompiling a LINQ query and running the same thing on both my machines, the development machine turned out to be faster.