While it may sound complicated, compiling your own Linux kernel is actually pretty easy. All you need to do is follow the proper instructions like this. Actually, if you’ve managed to set up an Arch box, compiling the kernel should be no problem.
Basically you download the latest kernel, unpack it, configure it (using some really nice menu with all options available), compile it and change a few lines so that grub (or your favorite bootloader) is able to find it. Apart from some initial problems where I had forgotten to copy over some new files, it was pretty straight-forward. I was really happy seeing the computer go from selecting my newly compiled kernel at boot-up, to booting without errors and presenting me with a login prompt at the end. All in all it was a fun thing to do, not as hard as I expected, and I may have earned some geek cred in the process.
I’m still amazed at how easy it was compared to what I expected. Especially I was surprised that it was way easier than compiling Firefox, which I struggled with for quite a while before I got something that didn’t fail to build.