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Compilation of methods per class.

re: Whenever I have the same method defined for several different classes
    and call the method at least once for instances of each of those classes,
    the time PCL takes to execute the method call goes up, sometimes
    dramatically.  Having the same method defined differently on just four
    . . . 

The circumstances you relate above are precisely the symptoms one would
expect when there is a breakdown in the assumptions underlying the PCL 
generic-function caching technique.

-- JonL --