Well, easy_install makes it snap to install packages that I may or may not use. Nothing is easier than to 'easy_install something-recently-announced', even if I never will use it (after a preliminary look). Often I forget to uninstall the packages again, or promise to do that later. Disk space is cheap.
However, I found that with the ~20 eggs that I have installed the startup time of the Python interpreter (Python2.5, WinXP, measured with 'timeit python -c ""') rises considerably - 2.5 times slower.
This only occurs when the eggs are listed in the easy_install.pth file; if they are moved into a 'normal' pth file this slowdown does not occur, although I can still import the eggs fine.
I assume the additional time is spent by setuptools looking up entry points or whatever? And that this additional processing is not needed for the eggs that do not provide entry points? Or are not *using* setuptools themselves? If this is true, wouldn't it be possible to skip the processing for those eggs?
IMO this is a critical problem of easy_install... (Imaging how the installed and possibly never used eggs pile up).