Here's what I found with a quick search-
"...in older magnetic ballast, this method greatly reduced lamp life due to limitations of magnetic ballast design. However with the new high frequency electronic ballast that can start the lamps quickly(~30-40 mS), instant start now provides acceptable lamp life in most situations"
I don't think you'll see a 2-3 times increase in lamp life(not for aquarium use at least), but maybe a couple months w/ an electronic ballast. The lamps lose a lot of Par before they entirely burn out. I'd recommend replacing the lamp's at 10 months or before, with an average 10-12 hours daily use, regardless of ballast type.