Was it a page with a large number of comments? My numbers sure as hell don't match that
Ultimately, server side, the size of the HTML is irrelevent. Apache generates the HTML from a couple of PHP scripts. It's all in memory and doesn't really touch the disks.
The only thing that uses the disks, and causes I/O load, are displaying images and logging hits into the access_log, and occasional SQL queries that aren't already cached.
We're considering putting the database into a ramdisk to speed it up and remove it from the I/O pool, however this would require a reboot and that's not something we're too keen on.. and we probably don't have enough RAM either.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your views, and you make a lot of good suggestions.. I just don't think it'd make THAT big a difference. The I/O load on the server shoots through the roof, which means it starts queueing tasks, which suddenly start blasting the SQL server and too many connection problems are seen. I really do think the only way forward is for all SCSI, and at least 2 disks.. and the next level of server up from where we are provides this. At a price.