There can be users on a Moodle instance who are enrolled on a large number of courses. If the the front page is set to list a users courses then that list can be very long and cause the front page to take a long time to render for them.
In the Front page settings of the administrator panel there is a setting called 'courses per page' which, I believe, should change the number of courses displayed on the front page but does not. It would be useful if this setting could trigger pagination to occur on the front page which would allow the page to load faster for users assigned to a lot of courses. I have developed a patch that will allow this to work but requires changes to core Moodle code in course/lib.php and lib/datalib.php. The patch and screen shots of the working pagination in the latest weekly build of Moodle 1.9.7 is attached. Note that the patch code takes into account local and remote courses and places the remote courses on the pages after the local courses.