This is a paper that offers a potentially positive argument for smaller methods: Reengineering Analysis of Object-Oriented Systems via
Duplication Analysis "A manual approach to the reengineering has been compared against a tool-aided approach, highlighting the time saving (8 man days against 1 man month) and the amount of duplications undiscovered by the manual analysis. It has been stated that a tool for duplication detection can drastically reduce the time to identify the duplication in software systems at file, class and method level only if suitable metrics and duplication analysis support are available. On the other hand, the adoption of a tool only at file level does not guarantee a better identification with respect to what can be performed manually by an expert system engineer. The inspection at class and method levels reduces the time to perform the analysis and allows identifying several activities to be performed during the code manipulation phase."