Everyone who is frustrated about the poor performance of the Android Device Emulator under Windows should follow the acceleration instructions from the official Google Android documentation site - section "Using the Android Emulator".
In particular when you are developing under Windows you should use the Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM). Unfortunately HAXM is not available for all Intel CPUs. So check the docs if your CPU is supported.
After I installed it on my Windows 7 (64 Bit) system the emulator starts within 10 seconds.