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A pixel mask does actually take additional space in the document. I guess it compresses extremely well if it's empty, but carrying masks on lots of layers can slow things down, and compression / decompression can take a little longer.
There's a specific setting, in the Adjustments panel fly-out menu, that gauges whether a layer mask will be added for an Adjustment Layer.
The Layers panel options, I believe, sports an option by which new fill layers will be given masks.
I don't think there's an option for automatically adding masks in other cases.
Adding layers like Text, Raster and smart objects never have had automatic layers mask added. Adding adjustment layers always came with an automatic layer mask until CS4. Adode introduced bugs in CS4 when they added the adjustment panel these bugs have been carried forward into CS5 and CS6. Adobe added two options in the adjustment panels fly-out panel. These options are designed to be global, not just adjustment panel options. These options only work sometimes when changed from their default settings. When changed from their default settings they try to change Photoshop historic default operation. When you change Photoshop default operation Action, Scripts and Plug-ins that add adjustment layers may not work correctly. Adobe should fix Photoshop and remove the two bad Adjustment Panel fly-out options. The Adjustment Panel fly-out menu option to not add Layer masks can not be safely set, same goes for the option to always clip added layer mask, if you use Actions, Scripts and Plug-ins that add adjustment layers.
It sure would be nice to jump right into masking rather than having to first create the layer mask. Why did they stop at adjustment layers?
Am I alone in this?
I hope you are for it too late in the game to start changing Photoshop's default operation. Most action, scripts and plug-ins add layers and add layer mask. If you change Photoshop to add layer mask when you dup a layer or add a layer actions, scripts and plug-ins that add layer mask to layers they have added will fail for there will be a layer mask on the layer because Photoshop default operation was changed.