this is a minor issue and probably there is no better solution, but nevertheless I would like to point it out and maybe discuss a little about the issue.

Given that the symlinks generated by annex are pretty large in size (they point to a file named by a large hash number), ext4 is using an entire block (4K) of storage instead of embedding the symlink into the inode itself. For the "archivist use case" of annex, this might lead to tens or hundreds of MBs of disk occupied by symlinks which actually don't add up to more than a few MBs.

Here is a real world example:

(ins)carlos@carlos home$ du -hs music/ 56M music/ (ins)carlos@carlos home$ du -bhs music/ 3.3M music/ (ins)carlos@carlos home$ ln -s /tmp/x x (ins)carlos@carlos home$ du x 0 x (ins)carlos@carlos home$ ln -s /tmp/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xx (ins)carlos@carlos home$ du xx 4 xx

Cheers, Carlos