Supplying an app the same as other distros for upgrading , replacing the repo list and base system surely must be something to be added.
The linked information tells you WHY upgrading is not a good idea. One of the main reasons I advise against it is that, even to this day, neither Mint nor Ubuntu provide any simple "roll-back" feature -- by which, if the upgrade goes badly, you select a "roll-back" function and the previously working install is restored. If the upgrade fails, you're on your own to fix the problems or be left, in some cases, with a nonfunctioning system.
Or is it going in the direction of other hobbies/pastimes where building something yourself is unfashionable and you just use whats on the shelf ready built.
Can't speak for others, but I generally discourage "building things yourself" because (1) it's a lot of detailed work, (2) it's a LOT harder to do than just installing apps using a utility, and (3) it then leaves you with a customized system that is likely to fail if you upgrade it down the road.
Linux distros are known for their flexibility in installing software given that you generally have several very different ways to do that" (1) a menu-based app that locates and downloads packages, (2) Synaptic (which does much the same but you select packages instead of apps), (3) using PPAs, and finally (4) building an app from source. Doing a version "upgrade" is likely to go well when you have used either of the first two approaches but is likely to fail if you have used either of the last two.
Folks find this out the HARD way when, using Ubuntu, and the last two approaches, they do what they think is a simple "upgrade" -- and are left with a nonworking system, from which there is no simple recovery.