With the option "hosts: files dns " in /etc/nsswitch.conf things seem to get better, however as before I still cannot get cnews.ru to load as in the previous case with both firefox and epiphany-browser . As far as the chromium-browser is concerned, it mostly loads never finishing though. The dumps are given below.
The tcpdump Ubuntu 10.10 where slow lookups never occur. The freshly upgraded firefox 7 takes a fraction of a second to load the notorious cnews.ru. Amazing! The dumps are attached below as well .