MS Update: "Checking" for latest updates forever

Just upgraded to MS Update from WU on my already fully-updated SP2 system,
and it went well (after a reboot) except that when I go to actually check
for updates via MS Update (custom or express), the animated progress bar
"Checking for the latest updates for your computer..." never completes no
matter how long I give it. Previously, WU would never take more than about
10 seconds on this screen. It's as if the server is down, but I've tried
this several times over the last day or two to no avail. I checked the WU
log and there's only positive things there, no signs of errors or problems.
The other functions of the page work fine, such as the history and change

Is MS Update working for you guys now?