Android emulators are notoriously slow. We've covered some alternatives and solutions in the past (VirtualBox, for example, or Intel's HAXM), and along those lines, here is another Android emulator focused on performance: Genymotion. It's a lot easier to put an app together, after all, when it doesn't take 10 minutes to get a look at it. Check out the intro video for an overview:
Genymotion is free and open source - there are some paid services, but it looks like the free version is pretty complete - and there are some extra features that look pretty interesting as well. A battery widget to measure efficiency, for example, is a nice addition. Version 2.0 went live yesterday, and Android 4.4 support is coming soon.
If you're sick of waiting for your emulator to start, it might be worth taking a look at Genymotion.