To answer your specific question. Integration of pc parts into standard modular components and the ubiquity of chip-scale ESD mediation since the early 90's means that there is a higher probability that the part you are working with is less ESD-susceptible today than in the 90's. It is very common today for chip manufacturers to integrate ESD protection into even the simplest logical devices, so while the underlying process (CMOS transistor logic) is the same, the extra protection makes the chips hardier and makes it less likely you will discharge current through anything sensitive than ever before.
Generally speaking a comfortable lab or assembly room with many (grounded) metal surfaces, smooth floor, non-insulating bench surface, non-ionizing air conditioning, with no HV or stray sources of E&M is likely to be a very static-free environment as it is. Likely you have just gotten lucky thus far or your volume is too low for the risk to be appreciated.
ESD protection is generally in place to protect sensitive electronics from charge sources, typically humans and occasionally foreign objects. The likelihood of a significant electrostatic charge on a component or assembly (ram stick, cpu) itself is relatively small, but some components may pick up charge from a human handling it and proceed to discharge into the next grounded component they touch.
ESD becomes an issue in two distinct scenarios. First is extremely sensitive or simple devices (chips with open drain/collector ouptuts, crystals, small integrated sensors, etc.). Second is an environment that increases the likelihood of undissipated static charge on operators handling equipment, examples would include rubber floors (operator isolation), low humidity, rough friction surfaces, lots of operator movement (walking station to station), no grounded metal fixtures, etc.
integrated anti-static protection (diodes to short the charge to ground in the simplest case) is now much more common on cpu's , memory, and other high density IC's (chips). On the assembly side (pcb instead of chip scale) ESD protective components/circuits are widely avaialble. These do not eliminate the danger of ESD, but can reduce the requirements on the handling environment. For e.g. an ESD protection scheme that is integrated into the chip - be it cpu, memory, or other logic. (Source at the bottom of this post)
In the electronic manufacturing world, as single technician or station in a factory could see thousands of units (from different clients) in a day, and these assemblies may be designed for e.g. clean room assembly or have ESD susceptibility across the board. In that world ESD is taken seriously with mandatory grounding cords and ESD discharge stations for all materials and personnel entering the manufacturing floor. This makes the manufacturing process control (QA) simpler even if your device is not particularly ESD susceptible. Manufacturing protocols in the early 90's would probably come from this perspective (large scale manufacturing at one location, not a private assembler from common market parts) and the severity of the requirements coming from a time when computers were considered specialized hardware.
Relevant Source: TI White Sheet on ESD protection