> I am using the stream parser. And although that seems a little slow
> it's ok. What I'm stuck with being too slow is the XPath support. If I
> can't get libxml to work I guess I'll have to end up creating a small
> ruby extension just to wrap the C libxml xpath support. My needs are
> very simple so this should be easy, but I was hoping there was another
> way.

You might take a look at http://teius.rubyforge.org.  I've been very happy with it.

From the  teius wiki homepage:

    Teius is really a tiny Ruby wrapper around the LibXML C library.