Re: Reducing Time Requirements of Rituals
You can reduce the casting time of a ritual by half if you use a ritual scroll, though those take several hours and some gold to create if I remember correctly. Half time is still pretty significant, though, and makes rituals practically useless in battle.
WotC appears to believe that combat ritualism is quite strong, though, as 2 standard-action ritual uses per day are considered a suitable L30 feature for the Magister. If somebody pumped their Arcana skill as high as possible and used Magic Circle against whatever it is that they're fighting, they could often render themselves practically invulnerable for 2 battles per day, so I can understand some of the apparent reluctance towards allowing things like this.
Maybe you should allow rituals to be cast at 1/10th the normal time for 10x (or some other multiplier) the cost or with a penalty to the skill check? Don't allow anything else to be done, not even free- or no-action powers, during casting, but that would let characters cast 5-minute rituals in 5 rounds, or 3 rounds with a scroll.
Actually, I like the idea of reducing the time spent by giving a check penalty - say, -2 to for each change in casting time: hour->10min, 10min->1min, 1min->5rounds, 5rounds->1round, 1round->1std. action. Arcane Lock (10min cast time normally) in 1 standard action would take a -8 penalty to the Arcana roll, for instance. Don't allow this to be used on rituals with no check or whose check is trivial (for instance, Comprehend Languages)