Bridge's speed is based pretty heavily on indexing as far as a search, and IMO didn't become responsive until CS4. (CS3 was okay but unstable). Bridge seems to also rely on caching quite a bit because when browsing directories of large photographs and textures for work, the more I use Bridge the better it responds. There are several options in bridge that can speed things up. Like "use thumbnails", by default it will render an image based on the image itself. So it's like having photoshop open the file each time. Of course if you've got a higher end AMD or Intel machine running a good GPU this won't matter as much.
Interestingly using windows 7's sort by size works quite well if the folder hasn't been indexed by Bridge. If you have multiple folders you might be able to use a *.jpg for your search and get everything in the subfolders.
Vista and 7 also provide lots of sort filters if you right click in the file pane go to "sort by" and then go to "more". There's also an option to group files by a different criteria along with the sort, so kinda like a cross search, kinda.