So... you consider breaking a network driver and breaking headless machines completely, possibly requiring long cross-country treks to fix it, a *good* thing?!
Upgrading the kernel frankly scares me now. Every single kernel from 2.6.28.x upwards has hit me with at least one severe regression on my home machines alone (defined as 'prevents booting or disrupts normal functioning on an at least daily basis'), and there are only four of them and a few VMs! When I upgrade I now schedule a whole weekend to try to work around the inevitable blasted breakages... even upgrading glibc is less nervewracking.