For the last few weeks or thereabouts, Craftster has been very slow to load for me. At times, it takes half a minute for it to load, during which time it looks like this:
Not so pretty. Are you planning on switching to a tableless layout in the near future? (Not for the forum listings part, I mean, but for everything else.) I'm pretty sure that if you do, it'll show the text as it loads, rather than waiting for everything to load and displaying it all at once.
Until then - to make the lhs navbar not wait around in the center while the rest of the table loads, you can use a fixed table layout. (CSS property table-layout: fixed;.) What that does is, it renders the table based on just the first row. This way, table layout is rendered before the entire table loads, so the browser doesn't have to re-layout the table when it realizes that there's more stuff in the table than just the navbar.