Sorry, but you are wrong. With a SSD Windows 7 boots nearly as fast as ML, Win 8 even beats ML.
Anyway, my boot time is about 12-13 seconds, shut down really depends on what I was doing, what programs I had open and how long the MBA was functioning. Sometimes it shuts down in 2 seconds, other times it takes up to 15 seconds.
I'm honestly surprised at how slow some of these times are because my early 2011 MBP with crucial SSD and 8gb boots in around 7 and shuts off in 5 if not instantly. I've actually restarted to login around 10.
Mine boots up in around 14-17 seconds (until the desktop appears and then it's basically ready to go).
Shuts down in around 4-5 seconds, sometimes longer - don't know why. (It's the same with my 13" that doesn't have an SSD, but a standard HDD - on Lion it used to shut down in 3-4 seconds, but after ML upgrade it takes him longer).
Nevertheless I love the SSD in my 15". It's incredibly fast. I mean I've read it's fast and I've seen the stats people shared here, but you gotta experience it by yourself to truly appreciate the difference.
I'm a bit confused by what the OP has posted - my 13" (high end late 2011) has basically the opposite results - 30 sec. to boot, 5-8 to shut down...
It is a bit queer that is takes 26 seconds to shut down the computer. I haven't tried it on lion as my MBA came with ML pre installed.
My old base 13" pro shut down in 5-6 seconds(regular hard drive, 5400 rpm, SL)
But I really don't care as I don't shut it down. I'm just happy with it.
Uhm never counted it but just did it now to satisfy curiosity and boot took 6-8 secs and shutdown instant-1sec, surprising Must say have nothing installed in ML apart from iLife and iWork in a brand new Mba 13" 2012.
I tested my MBA side by side with a brand new Win7 machine with an SSD and the MBA beat it by 10 seconds. They both got to the desktop very quickly, but the problem with Windows is that it takes forever to connect to the internet and actually open a program. ML is ready to go as soon as you get to the desktop.
I have just found out why it took so long time for my air to shut down.
If you open activity monitor and search for a process called backupd (I think thats what it's called) and backupd helper. If you see them running am using some percent of the processor then it will take some time to shut down, the stop automatically and they control the local time machine backups.
When they were running my air took 20-25 sec to shut down, and when they where not running It shut down in 2-4 sec.
I have a MacBook Air 2012 i7 8Gb ram. Booting barely takes 10 secs. Shutting down times is different everytime. Sometimes it only takes 2-4 secs, other times 10+. I never found this a problem though. I barely shut it down anyway.