Re: 'My hosts file is currently 12,492 lines long'
Book a flight or hotel room or buy anything online and dozens of slurpers are being fed, with nothing you or I can do about it sadly...
I think in Qubes-OS one can create a "use-once/ephemeral" domain for that kind of thing. You are tracked while browsing, but every time you shut down your browser within the "internet shopping domain" everything is reset and on the next shopping mission, your browser looks totally new.
"They" always get your IP address and "User Agent String"; no cookies, pixels, cached data and whatnot that the marketing scum relies on will be preserved. Which is Something.