Thanks to the wonderful people at the opensuse forums (especially Knurpht and wolfi323) for helping me out with opensuse 12.2: yast “System Services (Runlevel): Services” very slow: how to investigate.
The solution is to install openldap2, then reboot.
The easiest way is to perform this under sudo:
zypper install openldap2
Somehow in opensuse 12.2 yast, sendmail and apache depend on it (though the yast/zypper software installer don’t recognize the dependency).
Without the reboot, yast was still slow. Not sure why yet.
I will need to check this out in the most current opensuse release.