"people wanting to get major things added to the kernel should pay attention, even if you did develop a big massive patchset, once you know where you want to end up, go back and look for the minimum that can be done to get something useful, get that accepted and build on that."
We did that. Multiple times. The first implementation effort was primarily in userspace using ptrace and /proc. The second was Oren's in-kernel work which started out small and grew at the request of Andrew. The third was Nathan's stripped-down revision of Oren's patch set earlier this year.
"not coincidently, this looks very similar to the 'release early, release often' mantra of the bazaar development model."
There were plenty of small early releases. In fact, I seem to recall we were told to use containers@ because our frequent releases were annoying LKML folks. Releases that did the same thing Pavel's stuff does only a different way.
"Release early, release often" is not enough. There have to be people with the time, will, and influence to review and merge the work. Without that it doesn't matter what you push or how often you push it.