first of all your main problem is AOL, second I have had the same problem even with cable ISP. And it IS a RAM overload. I have a RAM optimizer (FreeRamXP Pro) and my free RAM noticeably goes down also when I am downloading from P2P programs (NOT Kazaa!!!CRAP!!!). So I set an automatic 'free ram' setting so when it gets down to 200mb it kicks in and frees up some ram. I don't know why exactly the ram goes down, just what I had to do so I wouldn't get a crash again.
You can get FreeRamPro from HERE
. I like it as it is free and its like watching the speedometer while driving.