I ditched gnome-terminal for exactly this reason. The default setup seems to use the gnome factory, which means one gnome-terminal failure takes *every* gnome-terminal down. You can specify --disable-factory (I think), which doesn't seem to be documented (though a gnome dev treated me like an idiot for not knowing about it).
I switched to Eterm and haven't looked back. I used to consider Enlightenment to be bloated, slow, and silly. Then I saw Gnome and KDE, and changed my mind (after many, many years of watching Gnome get worse and worse).
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