@esmi - If we're talking about numbers that big and we're going to assume that out 8 million downloads only a small percentage report problems, couldn't we also assume that there's more people with problems who don't report them here in this forum? Not trying to start an argument, just pointing it out.
@SwansonPhotos - I actually have found a good host with top-notch support and amazing uptime, so I don't think the problem would be with them. I try to use as few plugins as possible, but this could be a cause. Themes are usually designed by me, so I'm willing to admit this could be a problem as well.
One thing I'd say is that perhaps making the instructions to shut down plugins and go to an unedited copy of the default theme should be made more prominent in the auto-update procedure. Perhaps it isn't necessary for folks who are knowledgeable and read all the instructions, but for clients or the uninitiated, it might relieve a lot of headaches. Actually, it might even help for people like me who are forgetful as well.
Also, wouldn't it be possible to deal with the max-execution and max_memory issues on a lowest common denominator basis? Seems like folks are using different settings and getting results - isn't there some kind of common ground? Let me be clear - I have no idea how that works, coding isn't my speciality.
Again, I reiterate - I love WP. Just want to see it continue to get better.