I took a further look at some of the JVM options and ran a few 
more tests. I found  a couple of things that may be useful.

1) I have to use -Xmx400m to produce the 2000 page PDF in a 
large PDF test, 'time' reported: real ~5m user 2m57.880 ...

2) When I added -Xms400m to the same work 'time' reported: real
4m35.968s user 2m35.190s ...

This is drop in user time of 22 seconds, about 12 percent

The Cocoon Performance Tips page says we should not use -Xms.
One problem with statements of performance is they don't always 
discuss the rationale. My own feeling is that FOP will remain
problematic for large documents and this will be especially so in
server environments such as Cocoon.

3) When I add the JVM 1.4 option: '-server', executiuon gets faster.
Time reports: real 2m52.100s user 2m1.520s as improvement of
about 20 percent.

Note that 'cocoon.sh'  in the top-level directory for cocoon-2.1.3
supplies the defaults: JAVA_OPTIONS=-Xms32m -Xmx512m but does not
specify '-server'.


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