I too have this issue since recently upgrading form Vista home premium to 7 home premium. I'm no genius but I'm very familiar with microsoft PC's and have gone through all operating systems and build my own PC's although my current one is store bought. I'm familiar with "startup", "msconfig", "regedit" and "services".
I've gone through every suggestion I can find on the internet for this "problem"...more of an annoyance really, and nothing seems to work. As far as I can see it's nothing to do with the startup folder. My system specs are simliar to nate42nd's.
I feel your pain and I'll keep looking.