Of couse you could offload the processing to a separate program using a data queue to avoid the performance hit - I've done that - it's more work up front, but actually quite simple.
I've not noticed any major 'hit' with triggers, especially if you preload stuff into arrays, as I suggested. Of course, that's assuming you're not printing or calling a web service or something equally performance intensive..........
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Triggers are synchronous - are run inline with the database process - so they can delay things.
Journals are, too, of course, but you can run your compare afterwards - asynchronously - and have no effect on the database activity.
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