A colleague of mine – Andy Burns has offered a useful tip if you want your SharePoint 2010 deployment to benefit from using the Publishing Navigation features, without the added baggage provided when the site collection’s Publishing Infrastructure feature is enabled. He discovered that there is a “Navigation” feature nestled in the Publishing Infrastructure set of features. If only the Navigation feature is enabled you can work with the Publishing navigation for your top link bar and current navigation.
Using STSADM or Powershell you can activate the hidden feature. The Feature’s name is Navigation and it has a GUID of 89E0306D-453B-4ec5-8D68-42067CDBF98E
The STSADM command is: stsadm -o activatefeature -name navigation -url <url to site>