Thanks, Charles. I'll give that a try.
Brenden, I'm starting to think our problem has more to do with differences in load between the Staging and Production instances. Perhaps the CPU spike is to be expected, as you suggested. The big difference is that Staging's CMS is used more thoroughly, so its modules have already been compiled, and it's not being hit by traffic from the general public. Production is constantly receiving traffic, and the yet its CMS is rarely accessed directly.
Anyway, I'm glad we're not expecting heavy traffic anytime soon. Our sites are clearly not ready for it.