> Kernel 2.4 (Or actually: kernels before the new 2.6 development
> model: around 2.6.5?) were examples of packages that required
> large ammounts of patches.
Upstream definitely has to do its part, yes. If the upstream project doesn't understand itself
as a shared space for a variety of stakeholders, there's little a distribution can do - except
perhaps fork, and make a new, proper upstream to go to.