The problem is that a large number of the stability problems are in specific drivers and in the interaction of drivers with hardware... and you can't test that without having the hardware.
Most things are amenable to automated testing, but kernels are one of those things that aren't entirely so. (The non-driver parts, sure: I can imagine a UML-based kernel core testsuite, for instance. But the driver parts are where the nastiest bugs often lie.)
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