I would question the claim that a source-based distro necessarily sees a higher risk of encountering obscure and subtle bugs than a binary-based distro. Your reasoning is sound, but my empirical experience suggests that the reverse may be true.
My experience as a developer for a vendor of a binary-only commercial Unix clone demonstrates that the range of strange PC hardware out there is more than sufficient to exercise plenty of unique corner cases.
My other stint of experience comes from working for an embedded Linux vendor. We saw a LOT more trouble from people trying to piece together tiny distributions from prebuilt binaries (even all from the same source) than from people willing to build everything from source. A very common problem we saw with people who tried to do all of their system work with binaries only was subtle version dependencies among libraries as people upgraded individual packages over time. These problems simply do not occur if every library is built successively against the existing set of binaries on the system.
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