"the current filesystem devs are the same people as they were in the 'good old days'"
No. In the Ext world, I hardly ever hear the name "Stephen Tweedie" anymore. And he's the main developer I trusted. A very careful, conservative, and patient devloper. Took forever to get Ext3 out, Which annoyed me at the time. But I've learned to appreciate his "good things come to those who wait" philosophy. Today, it's Ted T'so at the forefront of Ext. A *very* different person.
"go talk to a good database admin (or especially a database developer), they will tell you that all filesystems have always had these problems"
And there you go again. Casting it as "black and white". If Ext3 ever lost a byte of data on someone's machine in Kenya, then by the gods, it's just as bad as the current crop of linux data sieve filesystems.
Hey, if you can keep doing the black and white thing, I can compensate by adjusting the contrast knob a bit. ;-) Current linux filesystems may not be, exactly, data sieves. But they are a far cry from the halcyon days of Ext3 pre 2.6.31.