>On some server configurations, the BIOS takes longer to run than the OS boot.
Not just server configurations. For about 3 years now all my Debian systems have taken around as long, if not longer, to get from power on->grub than from grub->login screen.
Sometimes there are options you can disable to improve matters, eg my main desktop has two SATA controllers built in to the motherboard, one of which also does PATA. Disabling it means losing PATA and a couple of SATA ports, but saving about 10s from each boot. When grub->desktop takes ~40-50s, that's a lot. With an SSD grub->desktop is likely to be more like 20-30s, so it's even more significant.