What about using smaller barrels? Why is the traditional barrel the size it is? I think that smaller barrels would give you more filtering and more "goodies" (I like the way you put that) per gallon of bourbon, which would lead to a different character in the bourbon.
I also wonder about the feasability of chopping up large barrels and somehow making smaller barrels out of them for home use. I'd think that it would actually be somewhat difficult, but I think they'd sell fairly well. I'd certainly like to have a half dozen myself.