I use a Woodwrite lather to rough turn all my blanks. It is a lot like a metal lathe. Back when I was doing big numbers of pens I added a trim router to the tool carriage. It rounded the blanks in a single pass. Took about 30 seconds to get the blank turned down to 95% final size. For single runs of pens I just use the tool rest with a single point cutting bit. It takes two or three passes so 1.5 minutes total. I set the machine in motion and turn another blank to final size on another lather right next to it. Multi tasking all the time saves a lot of time for me as long as I stay organized and do not get distracted or hung up on a problem.
Charles, I didn't read through all of the postings on this subject, there's just to many of them, and they are so long that I just don't have time. But, I wanted to comment on something, that I did read in your original posting. The 12 year old boy you're mentioning in the posting, didn't actually turn the item in the video. His name is Charlie The Maker, he is Nick Zammetis' son. Nick is a very popular turner on You-tube, and he was the actual turner in the video you mentioned. Yes, Charlie does do some turning, but he did not do this one. It was done by Nick, and it was made to make one think, that Charlie actually did the turning. But if you watch it very closely, you can tell from the size of the hands used. Nick and Charlie made it, to try to get Charlie's You-tube membership up to 10,000.
If you're looking for a fast way to turn the blanks down to round, buy a set of carbide tools. They do a fast job, for whatever reason you want to turn blanks faster. I enjoy turning blanks to size, it's very relaxing and enjoyable for me.