I'd love to read the editor's opinion on the whole notion of "enterprise" Linux distributions - versus if that effort was instead directed at making upstream suitable for these environments - facilitating continuous integration/delivery/deployment of, essentially, upstream tip. By regression test suites, performance evaluation, making sure drivers keep working, fixing upgrades so that they can be done without relevant service interruption, and educating customers, etc.
In some cases, these customers demand to be lied to - there's no way of meeting the "don't change anything!" at the same time as "keep the new stuff working!" (And "new stuff" isn't just hardware support.)
Clearly, I have a personal opinion on the matter. (Which, strangely enough, doesn't align with my pay cheque. ;-)
It's worth noting that some enterprise products fare quite well by putting the QA on top of upstream; I've got my blinders on here, but it works really well for the cluster stuff so far - we keep releasing, essentially, a QA'ed version of upstream-latest and support that. We work with upstream to ensure that a smooth upgrade is feasible, and that new features do not disrupt existing installations. And upstream for cluster stuff tends to be rather quality-conscious. Yes, even then, there are jumps that need to be carefully planned, but overall, it is sustainable without backports.