My solution to the delay on weblogs.com was to implement my pinging of it in a shell-script that fires when the source for my front-page has changed. Details at http://davespicks.com/ping_weblogs.html but the short version is that a recurring job (run by cron) checks for a change, and if so, that handles pinging weblogs.com. The extra level of indirection makes life a lot easier for me.