I'm afraid that 32 bit Max versions are very limited to create complex Forest scenes. I suggest you switch to Max 2011 64 bit, that should solve the crashing issue.
About the render time, 3:45 min is normal for a simple scene. And yes, the Forest Pack 4 video is edited to show the initial scattering process (what is played at real-time), and the final image. If not, the rendering process may take a large (and boring) chunk of the video time.
If that helps, our render time for the Grass tutorial scene
is 2:12 min. (i980x, 6 cores 3.8 Ghz, 12 Gb. RAM).
Regarding the textue issue, Max should load the textures if they are located in the "map" folder, just below where the scene is stored. At least, it works in this way here.