The problem is in the way we do options in order to maintain inventory on them.
The issue is that if you have 8 options and 4 choices per, you will end up having
4 to the power of 8 products 4 to the power of 9 product options in the productoptions table.... which really slows things down... in your case to a halt. The precise number probably depends on your computer statistics, but really more than a couple hundred combinations will begin showing clear performance problems.
Our solution will be to handle "uninventoried" options differently in the next update of powerstore. By not worrying about inventory we can drastically simplify the database structure and how the system works. Unfortunately there is little you can do it he current version without hand coding to get around the problem with large numbers of options.