I first learned English and am still coming up to speed on Continental but I have to agree with many of the knitters I know who say that knitting Continental is faster.
My main problem initially was that when I knit Continental, it was MUCH tighter than my English knitting...especially when I purled. I think it all has to do with the tension on the yarn really.
Once I started holding the yarn a different way (I hold it in my left hand with it looped loosely around my middle finger and then over my second finger which is held straight instead of looped around the pinky or pinky and middle finger or some other combo like I've seen done elsewhere), it changed everything and now as long as I make sure I have enough loose yarn from the skein so it doesn't pull the tension too tight, my knitting is pretty even.
Hope that helps a little! :-)