> item_max_date() looks like this:
>    select max(dtstamp) from items where channel = $1 and link = $2;

It is too bad the (channel, link) index doesn't have dtstamp at the end
of it, otherwise the below query would be a gain (might be a small one
anyway).

  select dtstamp
    from items
   where channel = $1
     and link = $2
ORDER BY dtstamp DESC
   LIMIT 1;


Could you show us the exact specification of the function?  In
particular, did you mark it VOLATILE, IMMUTABLE, or STABLE?

I hope it isn't the first or second one ;)

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