From the character selection screen, with the character selected, I press "Enter" to log that character into the world.
1:30 seconds with the loading bar empty (black, no sign of blue at all)
1:31 the first sliver of blue appears
1:55 the bar is full, but then holds there
2:02 world appears, character can move.
This started happening a few updates ago, I wanna say 14 but it could be 13. I remember it coincided with Turbine announcing an update to their rendering engine. Whatever the new engine is, its horrible for loading. Same long lag times zoning into a new area (once area is entered, re-entry is faster).