Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me
That's why you should always have a separate home partition. BTW for uninitiated all personal stuff is always in home.
Personally I keep two root partition one for current OS and one for next. I install the new OS into the next one and test. Once I am happy that all works great on my hardware I switch the home partition to be mounted on the new OS and the old partition becomes the one waiting for next.
Two advantages a new clean install cleans out all the old crud that accumulates like programs installed but never used again. I don't have old system config files from 6 versions back laying around giving the new binaries fits. Second I can be sure all works before committing to the new version and can drop back if need be.
It generally takes less then an hour to remember and install my main programs. Forget some it takes a couple of minuets to install once noticed.
Much better then trying to muck around with potential bad configs and other things from old system. And it only costs 30 or so gig for the second partition. (note I still use ext4 not convinced about BTRFS yet)