I have had a longstanding issue with Mandrake 9.1 and freezes when starting Mozilla, nowadays i just skip using Mozilla and everything works fine.
BUT, i don´t like it when something is that sensitive.
I too suspect some form of rendering issue with fonts.
The problem occurs almost exactly at the same point when starting Mozilla and its when Mozilla shows up, and i try to write something in the addressfield, then my machine comes to a total halt, its completely frozen and the only thing to do is to hit the powerbutton.
Nothing at all in the logs, and i do mean nothing.
Ive had earlier problems with Gnome that also displayed the same problems with freezing...