Spurred on by this thread, I've just tried rectifying the issue. Not successfully!
Initially I found a few oddball items in the startup, so deleted them to make it same as my MacPro which races through the booting up routine. Restarted Macbook Pro and same lengthy time to get up and running. So no change.
Next up, booted from Leopard DVD, verified and repaired permissions. Restarted, still no change and the lengthy procedure.
When new, I was impressed about how speedily the Macbook Pro started up. So I know that it is software of some sort which is causing this unwelcome change. Any more ideas please?
Can I use target mode from MacPro to the laptop?