"Linus would like a tool which could create a minimally useful kernel configuration for a given system. A full distributor configuration takes far too long to build"
Yes! Whenever I tried to build kernels with new features, debugging on, -RT etc it would take many hours on my ten year old system.
Frequently I wished that all the modules which were not applicable to my hardware could be switched off 'automatically'.
A tool which could look at the hardware on your running system and then switch of 90% of the modules which would never be used (but leave, say, USB devices in case you plug in a webcam) would be excellent.