I've since found that 7.2-STABLE (pre 7.3-R) didn't have that issue.
At least my T42 exhibits the same problem, a long stall on resume. I'm
happy to try patches for that.
Actually I've been held up on following that up by a larger problem -
intermittent but increasing failures to recharge (even new) batteries -
that I've learned is not so uncommon on the T23, possibly involving
resoldering an inductor that can work loose on the system board.
I'm hunting another on ebay for spares currently, while noticing that
a refurbished T43, the last of the IBM-made Thinkpads as I recall, is
much more affordable now, AU$275-350 with 3-month warranty .. though
I've recently invested in more RAM and a new battery for the T23 :(
(I'm not the fellow who started the thread.)
I've changed the subject in case anyone wants to follow up this aspect
.. but I'll have to come back to it after fixing the charging myself.