I don't know why but I can't seem to keep a Linux install running for any length of time lately. I had a Gentoo install for a couple of years at uni but since then I can't get it to compile far enough to attempt a boot. Instead I'm lucky to get six months out of a standard distro - this year I've tried Suse, Ubuntu, Fedora and am currently getting frustrated at Mint Debian, which has crippled Cinnamon with it's latest update, and doesn't even have a working terminal under E17 while gnome-legacy tries to open folders using Audacious (a music player...)
It's the weekend so time for a reinstall - I effective have a blank system that can run anything (i7, 240gb SSD and 16gb RAM), what should I try that might actually work for a while? I'm traditionally a Gnome user so GTK+ based would be nice.
Seems like it's not the hardware. Sometimes it's just luck - you're at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong slough of updates. Sometimes it's bad user habits...it's not bad user habits right? You're not enabling strange things, repos, updating infrequently? Probably not, you seem to know what you're doing.
That being said, something like CentOS can be a last resort. Hiccups to set up from scratch sometimes, but. from anecdotal experience, only VM I have on me that has not required troubleshooting or extra maintenance the whole year, updates and all. Using frozen stuff might can seem out of place on a daily desktop, and you might come across some software that requires newer libs, but take for example FF24 - using it with no problems on that front, so it varies from case to case.
If you're not privy to something that extreme, a solution would be to simply not play around with the rig. That might mean diligence, and not updating until the very last minute if it's a major component, until you've read some user experiences on the matter.
And something that doesn't exactly fit your situation because you seem to be facing a major issue, but might be still relevant otherwise. That maintaining a system in this day and age might seem annoying, but think of it this way; it is only because we pay a given amount of attention to the system, that we notice the bugs. That attention usually stems from fiddling with things you care about. And if you care about it, perhaps you should be maintaining it after all. Because otherwise you wouldn't notice at all, really. I cared little about the Arch install on this laptop for a whole year. There was no glaring issues, until I finally got an itch to try out different things. Then I uncovered a huge load of cruft underneath. But it had worked fine from a daily usage perspective. Who can imagine what grows underneath my W7 install that managed to blow up on itself not so long ago? Well, I've never paid enough attention, nor would I be able to. We, as OC users, only notice because we care.