I'm having the same problem as you are, although I haven't tried the 03 firmware. I've tried most of the recent ones, including the current V04 from the 832 drive. Extraction is slow -- it seems like EAC doesn't properly spin up the drive. I say that because when I extract with Easy CD-DA Extractor and rip at max speed, it rips it quite fast and I can hear the usual drive spin up. If I do this, cancel the rip, and then go back to EAC and rip, it rips at the proper speed of ~10.0x. This makes me wonder if it's the firmware or EAC...I sure hope it's the firmware, because we all know how often EAC is updated.
I posted this same problem on the EAC forums hoping for a response. No luck yet.