This reminds me of my Vista laptop with IE8. There are times when IE8 just stops responding and it usually happens after I take it out of sleep mode. I like the idea of shaking the mouse or hitting the shift key and having the browser open where I left it.
I do give the laptop time to get going again after being asleep and more often than that IE8 hangs and if I wait long enough it will stop responding. Also, I've been very careful to run standard apps like Office and not installing software on this machine.
Restarting IE8 after it stops responding sometimes work, more often then that I have to reboot and it lasts long enough to get my work done. I just found http://www.winvistaclub.com/t45.html and I'll try it out.