If people pay enough attention to what they are upgrading this is pretty true.... Where LM_Ubuntu-base seems intended to hand hold, LMDE does not.... Many who come to LMDE do not seem to be beyond the point of wanting a rock solid, stable, pre-installed and configured device placed in their hands. Wanting such is ok, just choose your distro accordingly....
Thanks for this very clear explanation and guide. I've used LM for about three years and LMDE is an entirely new experience. I find myself spending much more time here in the garage with you-all. (Yes, LMDE is the garage-band version of Linux Mint.)
Your excellent comment tells me that what I was looking for with LMDE, i.e., Debian Lenny stable with a Mint face, is something I'm not likely to find - and haven't. There are just all these minor issues - suspend that doesn't work on my ThinkPad X32 laptop, fleeting problems with wireless (solved), and the constant feeling that the next series of updates may break something.
I really want a stable distro. The alternatives seem to be Scientific Linux (RedHat-based and reputedly very stable) or Mepis, the latter I don't trust based on past experience - like LMDE, I found that with Mepis regular tinkering is required. And with Scientific Linux there's not much hand-holding.
Now I'm wondering if installing Debian Squeeze would be a good idea. Difficult in the beginning, but trouble-free going forward.