Hmm. I am seeing a lot of posts with people saying they don't use it because they prefer apt-get or aptitude, killing X first, etc... I get that. X can crash sometimes when upgrading it (I have yet to experience this). More things can go wrong. I am command line junkie myself. I love automating and scripting things.
Mint is supposed to be geared for non-savvy end users though, right? My 400 year old grandmother for example. She prefers the GUI over the command line and will NOT update her computer by any other method. She told me herself, she tried command line updates on her 300th birthday and it didn't go so well. She didn't know what she was doing, and really she just wanted to get on the computer to look up some details on steam-powered crochet machines. It is a fact of life. Non-savvy users WILL NOT USE THE CONSOLE.
The topic is whether or not mintupdate-debian is safe to use. I believe it is for the most part. I do believe some things could be done to make it safer ...
Perhaps packages can be flagged (xorg-server linux-image, etc) and it can pop up a warning and dump back to a console first. Perhaps it should try and always run the actual background apt-get task in a screen session? DOES it run apt-get in the background, or is it doing things internally?
Also, I think it should OFFER REBOOTS when updates are complete. My main pet peeve with this program is that it just disappears when things are finished. No "updates are finished" prompt or anything at all. To illustrate why this is bad, imagine a kernel is updated on a laptop and that hibernates afterwards, maybe because the user walked away and it was running on battery, whatever, maybe there was an urgent phone call about how the the user's favorite rodeo clown got hit by a steamroller just down the street and it just HAS to be seen! When the user returns and boots up the laptop, grub will boot into the new kernel, and ignore any resume that needs to be done because that pertains to the old kernel.
Kudos for making the dist-upgrade option a preference option instead of prompting the user every time though. This is definitely better than the update manager in vanilla debian.