Although I haven't run vibration studies, I think I understand what you are saying. Some of the studies I've run have included 100,000+ elements and, yes, there is a lot of I/O to the hard drive. Our workstation uses an overclocked i7 with 12 GB of RAM, so I'm sure the bottleneck is the 7200rpm disk. It sounds like SSDs will alleviate, or at least lessen, both of our excessive run times. As for reviews of using SSDs with Simulation, I'm also looking for those.
After running some preliminary comparisons, I'm afraid I have bad news and good news regarding disk I/O use during Simulation solves.
We swapped out our HDD for a RAID 0 setup using 4 SDDs via Intel's ICH10R onboard controller on a Win7 x64 box. The OCZ SSDs are spec'd for max Read/Write of 240MB/s & 100MB/s. Using AS SSD Benchmark, the array got rated for a max 602MB/s Read & 426MB/s sustained Write; pretty impressive compared to the 7200RPM write speed of 85MB/s. However, the access times were far more important since the HDD was typically in the 20-30ms range during Simulation runs, as reported by Win7's Resource Monitor. By comparison, the SSD array hit a max access time of 2ms during 300MB/s writes. Although we had doubts as to what exactly goes on during Simulation runs, by observing the Resource Monitor we found that over 90% of I/O during Simulation solves involve writing to the SW file locations. Hence, if the SW part/assembly files are located on a HDD, the advantage of having an SSD boot drive will dimish. Luckily, we created two Volumes from the SSD array, one for OS/apps and another for storage.
So here are the results thus far from linear static studies using both parts and assemblies containing sub-assemblies. The solve time decreased by a range of 5-10%, as alluded to by the access times. Admittedly, these aren't the performance gains we expected, but workstation performance gains are rarely linear. The good news is that the speed increase is felt during daily modeling, from opening sub-assemblies/parts to rebuilds to smaller simulation runs.
Should new developments arise, I'll be sure to report back. Hope this info provides another perspective for those contemplating making the jump to SSDs.