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The only scenario I can come up with off the top of my head where the
performance of file existence testing matters is the busy wait for a
file to appear. And in that case the non-existence is going to be
found rather quickly, since it's only expensive once the file is
actually there. And then you're going to want to do something with it,
otherwise you'd not have waited for it, yes?

Or is there an application for waiting for the disappearance of a file?