No direct control? Device driver patches are accepted readily, so if you aren't getting your patches accepted something very strange is going on.
If a driver has a weird set of bugs on a lot of different platforms it sounds fragile and no amount of stable APIs will help.
As for manufacturers doing a better job with out of tree drivers quite often hardware manufacturers build a device for a short while sell it and quickly become no longer interested in it. Which makes a community model where all the people who care (not just the hardware manufacturer) can participate a better thing.
With our real world examples I can't see where you are coming from.