This is a recording of Arch i686 installing on VirtualBox, a virtual machine. I tried to be quick to demonstrate how fast the process can be. This video shows everything from start to finish, from putting the CD in to booting an installed system.
Remember that certain sections of the installation are slow because of the VM, for example, mkinitcpio. On a normal install to a computer, this section doesn't take more than a few moments. To further compare, Arch takes about 2 seconds to start on my computer and if you look close enough, it takes about 5 on this virtual machine. But even with this bottleneck, the install process takes only 2 1/2 minutes!
Also, look at the total installed package size when the Install Packages section comes around - 103MB! This is a bleeding-edge distro!
From here on, you would use the package manager, pacman, to install packages from repositories and setup your computer how you want. Everything you wan and nothing that you don't.
Arch works off the KISS (keep it stupid simple) concept and autoconfigures packages when you install them. If you want to geek it out by compiling and configuring everything yourself, the package manager also supports that too. So, both newcomers and experts alike can appreciate the package manager that makes Arch Linux what it is.