Re: a Thinner Linux Kernel
I don't think anybody every compiled such a module by accident.
Until you're insane enough to use allyesconfig, this stuff never affected compile times.
Nobody compiles a kernel any more because everyone does it for you nowadays. Getting a pre-fab kernel for your specific hardware used to mean custom compiling. Nowadays, you just pick up any distro and boot the default, unless you have some fancy esoteric tastes, in which case the relevant kernel module gets included for you.
Last time I compiled Linux was pre-2000, I think.