So, I tried using the "real" client to grab torrents of various things. Most recently, I was getting the DVD of the latest KNOPPIX distribution. That's a Linux release that you can run from the DVD without a hard drive install. It's useful for things like repairing a screwed up Windows installation, if you aren't lucky enough to find a version of Windows that you can do anything with that is also runnable from a CD.
So, BitTorrent takes up about 21 MB of space after install, and it seems to be throttled based on some sort of black magic. The fastest downstream rates I was getting were in the 45k/sec range, which is horrible.
I went back to uTorrent (think of the u as being an approximation of the lowercase Greek mu), which is 155k. 155k < 20 megs. I'm also already getting a download speed of 73k/sec, on the same torrent and only 5 minutes later. My system is still usable with uTorrent running, and it was ridiculously slow with the "real" client, and even loading web pages was like trying to swim through cement. I'm referring to hardened cement, and not the sludge that they pour into the molds.
Perhaps I'm just seeing the result of bad luck as far as the download rates, but hammering my system is something that I'm not really cool with. Perhaps Bram was just thinking to the future when he wrote it all in Python. In 5 years, I'm sure that my computer at that time will be able to handle it nicely.