Yep, it was IPV6. Using "-4" fixes this. Thanks to all who replied.

Some of these hosts have IPV6 IP addresses configured, some do not,
they are running various versions of BIND, and are located in various
cities..

However, the one thing they have in common is they are all running
Solaris 8 on X86. Linux and Solaris 10 hosts have not been implicated,
although I have many fewer of them than Sol 8 hosts. And of course who
knows who's routing IPV6 if at all in these various locations.

-w
..

>> On all the hosts I've tested so far, when I do a
>>
>> dig @ourserver somedomain.com
>> dig @ourserver somedomain.net
>> dig @ourserver somedomain.org
>>
>> it takes 4+ sec to get the initial non-cached response, whether

valid
>> or
>> NXDOMAIN, back from com/net/org. In fact org often *hangs*.
>>
>> All other TLDs, and ".", are fast and behave as expected.
>>


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