Actually, your problem isn't that generic, and might be better solved by 
dissecting an EXPLAIN ANALYZE.

> 1. Should I just change beg to change the requirements so that I can make
> more specific queries and more screens to access those? 

This is always good.

> 2. Can you 
> recommend ways so that postgres acts on big tables more efficiently? ÂI'm
> not really interested in this specific case (I just made it up). ÂI'm more
> interested in general solutions to this general problem of big table sizes
> with bad filters and where join orders don't seem to help much.

Well, you appear to be using ORDER BY ... LIMIT.   Is there a corresponding 
index on the order by criteria?

Josh Berkus
Aglio Database Solutions
San Francisco

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