Okay, get this...
450 of 32x32 box objects... ~180 FPS
450 of 32x32 sprite objects (just a box drawn)... ~450 FPS
450 of 32x32 tiled background objects (same box drawn inside)... ~220 FPS
ONE 32x32 tiled background stretched over 800x600 layout... ~ 420 FPS
Well... what can I say? Goodbye, Box.
P.S.: My machine is Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz, 1.5GB ram, ATI Radeon 9550 256 MB. The mother board is insanely crappy, though, they've subbed the suckiest one in for the one I fried.
Edit: I went ahead and gave each of tiles five different animations - just a different color - and randomized each tile.
450 of sprites, each has five different one-frame animations... ~260 FPS
Why was I worrying about tiled maps again?
Edit2: Tried creating 10000 sprites... Doesn't show the window at all, though debugger shows 10003 instances and 0 (1.#Jms) as FPS. Yikes.