In reference to the use of UUID in fstab, I ran into an little problem with that. I used GParted to copy my Mint partition, sda1, to a backup drive, sdb1.
I discovered that GParted had copied the UUID for sda1, and now sda1 and sdb1 both had the same UUID and were both mounted at /
I had to generate a new UUID for sdb1,
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tune2fs -U time /dev/sdb1
and create a new mount point, and then everything was fine. I could boot into either hard drive, after editing the grub menu.
So I think sticking with the old /dev/sdb1 convention is preferable to UUID or labels.