Arrggghh! Why on EARTH does the stupid FreeBSD partitioner think I only need a 69MB Swap partition???? What does it think it is installing on, a 486??!?!?!
OK. It's not stupid. But I sure was. I missed this, and it caused SEVERE slow down on my system. The stupid thing is, I didn't notice this the first, second, or third times I installed FreeBSD, ran into problems, and restarted. But strange things happen with insufficient swap space, such as losing your mounted cd media in the middle of installing packages for example.
Right. Blasted it for the third time in a row and started the reinstall. This time, I created an appropriately sized swap partition, and threw everything else into a single partition mounted as root (/). This is probably not a good idea, but it's a VirtualBox hobby-sized project, so it probably does not matter.