I have encountered this problem both on my laptop as on my main computer. If I start k3b it hangs for 3 minutes at the creating gui screen. I use the latest non-initrd kernel, lshwd, dbus and hal. It really makes me goe bananas because if I boot with a livecd I do not have this problem, nor with other linux versions I have tested this problem occurs. What the hell can it be, I like k3b and I like archlinux but the 2 of them don't want me to use them at the same time. The only linuxdistro I also like is Gentoo but I hate compiling every fart it has to let go.
Strange... I don't have this problem. Is your system up-to-date?
BTW, I'm not running the hal daemon.
My system has the latest packages as far as I know. I found some other problems that could be related, seems that k3b doesn't work so well with scsi emulation support. My burner I use at this pc is external usb and uses scsi stuff, so did the burner at my laptop, that was a built in burner unlike the one I use on my main pc. Any ways of disabling the scsi stuff, I don't wanna recompile my kernel along with all the modules...
K3b detects both my internal IDE dvd burner and my external (USB) SCSI CD- burner.
For disabling the scsi stuff, maybe the initrd kernel in testing could do that. I might be wrong as I didn't tried it out yet.