I'm averse to compile programs for productive machines. Lot's of developers and maintainers have been working (and work) hard to make a wonderful binary for you. But sometimes you need a customization. Especially if it's about a kernel. I was needed support for 8GB ram.
Most of the people would download a kernel from www.kernel.org, would configure it and would compile it.
If it's about a Debian user, he would probably compile it by-the-Debian-way, with make-kpkg.
But I only needed a really small change from the debian official kernel image. So, I tried to made a custom kernel image, without wasting the work from the kernel team, making as less changes as possible.
$ apt-get source kernel-image-2.6.8-3-686-smp
$ vi kernel-image-2.6.8-i386-2.6.8/config/686-smp
Add support for HighMem64G:
In order to not generate all the images for all the platforms (I'm not sure that i386, k7, etc. are platforms) I delete those files from kernel-image-2.6.8-i386-2.6.8/config:
$ rm 386 686 k7 k7-smp
Then... let's bulid a package (compile in a DD-way :P)!
And now I have a package with my non-too-much-custom-kernel-image, ready to be used.