Thank you all for your comments. I did not know about bytecode caches. They're 
interesting concept, but if I am interpreting the paper correctly they 
only double
the average speed of operation, which is rather less than I would have anticipated.

I strongly advise that you take the time to try a bytecode cache. Within linux environments I am partial to eaccelerator. In IIS environments I now use WinCache from Microsoft. From my own observations with a multitude of different types of PHP web applications I find that the speed gain is closer to 5 times faster on average.

As I would have to understand yet another system to implement them, and I 
suspect I'd have
to do a significant amount of rearranging, I don't think I will worry about 
them unless my
webpages unexpectedly become extremely popular.

That's your perogative, but you started this thread with a question about file access times. By your latest argument (above) you may as well ignore it since when and if the issue becomes salient then you can worry about it. However, I think that's disingenuous at best since your pages will appear slower on average, and you're just wasting CPU resources.

Al's suggestion that my code is probably infinitesimal compared with PHP 
suggests that I
shouldn't be worrying about memory requirements.  On the other hand I agree 
with David
that the advantages of using relatively small easy to understand modules 
probably outweigh
the costs of loading a larger number of files.

You've missed several points. Bytecode caches allow you to skip the trip to the filesystem. They allow you to skip the parse and compile stage of PHP. They almost always make your shit run faster.

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