Many people got that problem, seems like Atari made a mistake in expecting everyone having high-end systems with 1024 PC3200 Ram, although there are us who have it, the majority does not.
Dreadnought[DK] if you want to increase your loading time even further just read:
Find the UT2004.ini file in the SYSTEM folder (C:/UT2004/System)
find the lines
[Engine.LevelInfo] bNeverPrecache= bDesireSkinPreload= Change these lines to false if not on false already.
I know there's more but I just can't remember it :P Even so, I found my maploading time being down to 5 seconds after that, so I'm happy :)
Anyone up for a UT2K4 game now?? [email]email@example.com[/email] is my msn :)
Disabling NeverPrecache drastically lowers general performance for the first few minutes of a map, personally I wouldn't recommend that (the other one's the same as disabling Preload All Playerskins in the menus). Thanks for digging up extra info though.