> I put the EXPLAIN ANALYZE output at:
> http://developer.osdl.org/~jenny/large_explain_analyze
> http://developer.osdl.org/~jenny/small_explain_analyze
> The actual execution time is 37 seconds(large) vs 5 seconds (small).

There's an obvious row count misestimation in the 'large' plan:

->  Sort  (cost=519.60..520.60 rows=400 width=31) (actual time=106.88..143.49 
rows=30321 loops=1)

but I'm not good enough at reading these things to tell if that's the cause of the 
problem, or if so how to fix it :-(

---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
TIP 9: the planner will ignore your desire to choose an index scan if your
      joining column's datatypes do not match

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