> Like a previous question I have to wonder why the kernel random number generator hasn't been hammered into as bulletproof a generator as possible
Well I think that one of the reasons why /dev/random is so slow to generate new data is because they tried to make it as 'non-deterministic' as possible.
This sort of stuff wasn't always a issue with Linux. Older kernels would generate a lot more /dev/random, so much so that it was rarely a problem. However people found severe flaws with it and the amount of data produced and type of data that Linux sourced to generate the entropy was severely cut back.
Combine modern kernels with virtual machines and mostly idle servers then it sometime can get acute.