I use the following reg file to set all folders to display items as general which makes every folder display files in detailed view. I do this for similar reasons to you in that some folders with lots of media crawl to a halt. I don't think Windows does a very good job at "detecting" the contents either as just a couple of videos and it decides to set the folder to "Videos" which is very frustrating. Anyway hope this helps, if not I am if you Google around for the reg key it uses you can work out a way to get it how you want.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00