Speed Up Initial Document Load

Speed Up Initial Document Load
Our e-commerce site loads the initial document quite slowly: around 2500 to 3000ms measured in YSlow for the main site page. The result of this is that our customers wait for 3-4 seconds before they see any activity occuring-after that, the site loads quickly enough after that point, so focus on the initial document loading time. We would like to push that load time to under 1000ms consistently, to minimize the amount of time that our customers must wait with nothing visible happening. Please help us configure out network settings, caching, headers, and whatever else to cut 1500-2000ms from our initial load time.

The site is a Magento site running on the Rackspace cloud (LAMP). Total load time runs from 8-10 seconds currently. Small HTML documents like the Magento License or small php scripts like phpinfo have an initial document load time of 300-500 ms. Thanks!

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