A friend at work has used SAL before... took about 6-7 weeks for two packages that were about half the size of a standard comic book box. That's to the mid-west. Less expensive, but a real nail-biter and just incredibly slow compared to other options.
I recall reading something about Hobbylink in the past that stated they take and pack orders until a shipping container is full (to save on their bulk-shipping costs), then it all goes to the States. A slow ordering period, no big orders, enroute shipping delays and whammo, you're hit with a huge delay.
I suspect something similar is happening.
On the plus side of that HLJ is a pretty reputable place as far as making the delivery. You will get your order unlike some places. I think I've waited on average about a month when ordering things from them... and was always satisfied when the product arrived
I agree with Dade on this one. HLJ is one of the most reputable retailers from Japan online. You have to remember too that they cater to the entire globe not just the US.
Rayra is mostly correct about the bulk shipping. They have containers that they fill to do a drop shipment all at once but it's not all just stuff for the US. It has gotten a little faster with the processing since they stopped using UPS. Right now, they have 4 people working non-stop doing nothing but packing boxes and filling orders and they are growing.