I'm not so sure. I'm using RedHat 6.2, and it seems the only time a startup script calls sleep is when it gives you a chance to do interactive startup, and when you are looking for an NIS server. You could certainly remove those.
All the other calls to sleep are in the stop sections, where you want to make sure the thing died before proceeding.
But paring down the startup scripts is a good idea. For something like an embedded device, you might even want to go with a custom init, that just runs your main program.
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