It's definitly not (!) kernel-version dependant (assuming 2.4.17+ is used, lower versions I don't know of)
This problem is very old indeed, I already mailed nvidia-bug team about it. They didn't even reply (quite disappointing).
I have any (!) released drivers tested, the latest functional (the one without the lag at X-startup) was 1581.
It's quite disappointing (I wrote this before) that nVidia does not a crap about this problem... (Next time I'll buy something else ...)