In exactly the same situation with these timeout issues and have hit a brick wall. Everything was working perfectly until I patched 12.04 LTS at the weekend now I get the same timeouts.
Have tried all suggestions above and no joy. No errors are reported anywhere in any logs other than the infamous 'Error opening file for reading'.
Seems a shame to scrap everything when this is the only thing not working. I have been using Rocky's excellent guides since the early days, never had a problem before.
Any tips or help appreciated.