Odd how Media Pro went for the older structure of multi core to slower single! Bizarre!
I had the older MS ExMedia, but never got around to installing, and just did the upgrade jump to MediPro.
When you say "loading", what do you mean?
Some give you the option to DAMs give you the option of reading the embedded preview, and some don't. If you have a folder structure with backups in place and portability of your files isn't needed, The speed is the only reason cataloging makes use for. Except some applications as you mention PhotoMechanic, and I believe ACDSee, because it is so fast (even though it does create a DB of all), reads existing thumbs.
I'm not 100% if that is the problem of being "a part of Phase One". C1 is a raw developer originally designed for PhaseOne. It now supports other cameras as the processor was and in some ways "better" than what is out there (arguably). And Media pro is surely NOT limited to Phase One as it is more able in formats than many other Image or DAMs. But I would agree that their core interest is internal, then applicable throughout.
There are 3 pivotal points in "ingesting" the image: The capture, the process, and the managing/distribution of.
The capture is NOT the limiting factor, the process IS. LR can process just about all(not older TIF PhaseOne files), but it locks that process, as C1 does, and ANY proprietary processor. This is the point of limitation, and since it is not 100% scientific(or is it?) the application of the process is variable and hard or not allowed to manage...As processing applications are not willing to give out or even sell cookbooks.
When I asked about licensing, Johnbeardy had the reply...
Without being specific about Adobe or PhaseOne, licensing a third party raw converter for a DAM app is not impossible. A good example is that Extensis Portfolio used to display raw files via code licensed from Bibble. Two obvious problems though - it's not much help if the embedded raw converter isn't your chosen one, and two companies' release schedules/procedures can result in even more delay into supporting new raw file formats. OTOH, with DNGs the DAM only needs to have the ability to read the embedded thumbnails and previews and doesn't need to decode the raw data.
Maybe once the cookbooks are licensed we would have easier management. It would be revolutionary for a popular RAW processor to license out to a Popular or even new solid "superior"(this would be a mixed bag) DAM.