Ok, you guys' suggestions helped alot.

I changed --compress to --whole-file, and in fact that increased my speed from 
4.5Mb/s to 18.5!  Much better. Still core-bound though. (not disk, or network)

Now that I've finished my restore, I've run iperf.
  Droog --> Hex 937 Mbits/sec!
  Merlin --> Hex 40.6 Mbits/sec (wifi)
 So I'm getting amazing performance from the Gb connexion; I should because I 
used expensive Ubiquiti ToughCable and ToughConnectors for the 70' run to the 
garage where my backup server is. BTW, Ubiquity has some amazing products, 
especially the NanoBridge M2.
 My wifi performance is not too good, considering that I run 5GHz only, 
802.11n. It's a Netgear WNDR3700 router and the client card is the Intel 4595 
built into my HP 8710w laptop.

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