You are mixing a lot of real facts, but using them as your own purpose.
That is, following your understanding, Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers a 4 years old distribution (because they distribute 2.6.18 kernel which was realized 14th Oct 2006), or, in the same way, it's 6 years old, because it includes python 2.4 released on 2004...
It's a stable software, in software engineer that would basically mean it has been proven to work in most testing scenarios, unfortunately for some cases, *that time* is too much.
I really think CUT would be a solution for them. Once again, thanks JoeyHess the great tools you invent and code (altogether with etckeeper, debconf itself, and so on!)!