I really need some help with speed :)
It definitely takes a lot of dedication to your instrument. By this I don't mean lock yourself in your bedroom and woodshed for 12 hours a day - certainly not - but you do have to keep at it. Don't focus too hard though; you'll burn out.
"Speed" is a very vague term. What specifically is your problem? Alternate picking? Finger strength? Finger independence? Synchronization? All these contribute to chops. If you can pinpoint the problem, all the better in your search for speed.
Try to make it fun. Many others will disagree with me here, but I say, don't bother woodshedding to build up your speed. If you make it boring (I tend to associate woodshedding with that), you may end up avoiding practicing. I built up my speed up by learning a couple Steve Vai songs. "For the Love of God" and "Tender Surrender" are the songs that have had the most significant impacts on my technique.
I've been playing for 5 1/2 years and the one major factor in building up my speed, I think, is my perfectionist attitude. When I was working on my chops, I didn't feel like I was "working," per se; it was just that I didn't stop working on a part until it sounded as close as POSSIBLE to the record (whoever it may be- Vai, Satriani...).
Take this extra piece of "advice" with a grain of salt, as many would oppose this position... but one time I practiced a Paul Gilbert exercise nonstop for an hour and a half to a metronome. Granted, it got my speed up, but I thought, "Oh my gosh, if THIS is what woodshedding is really like, I'll never survive. Damn the metronome!" Both before and since, I have never practiced with a metronome.
Good luck. Speed is far from an overnight thing...