Actually I was wrong Jakup, but my point still stands. Actually it is the ARB2 path that the nv30 is slow at, not the ARB path. The ARB path is a lower quality standard path. It is missing features such as specular highlights and vertex programs. The ARB2 path still uses standard extensions but it is high quality. No features have been cut out like the ARB path.
Whether or not the NV30 was out at the time, the Nv30 path is in the leaked alpha.