At LinuxCon 2009 a discussion arose about the Linux kernel becoming gradually slower with each new release. "Yes, it's a problem," said Linus Torvalds. "The kernel is huge and bloated, and our icache footprint is scary. I mean, there is no question about that. And whenever we add a new feature, it only gets worse."
I think the addition of new features is a red herring, and the real problem is in letting Tux eat the herring. Just hide the jars, maybe get a treadmill, and everything will go back to the way it was.