My recollection is a bit different. I remember Panther and Tiger requiring only a short time to repair permissions. Leopard, IIRC, had the problem of taking 20 minutes or more to repair perms. This was fixed in Snow Leopard. For me, repairing perms in SL takes only a few minutes but the estimated time is way off.
OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365