I've only lived with maybe a few dozen disks in my life, but I've still corruption like that too -- in this case, it turned out that the disk was fine, but one of the connections on the RAID card was bad, and was silently flipping single bits on reads that went to that disk (so it was nondeterministic, depending on which mirror got hit on any given cache fill, and quietly persisted even after the usual fix of replacing the disk).
Luckily the box happened to be hosting a modern DVCS server (the first, in fact), which was doing its own strong validation on everything it read from the disk, and started complaining very loudly. No saying how much stuff on this (busy, multi-user, shared) machine would have gotten corrupted before someone noticed otherwise, though... and backups are no help, either.
I totally understand not being able to implement everything at once, but if there comes a day when there are two great filesystems and one is a little slower but has checksumming, I'm choosing the checksumming one. Saving milliseconds (of computer time) is not worth losing years (of work).