I can assure you, when I analyze any hardware/software system I don't in any manner way shape or form categorize anything, or base any decision on the age of, and subsystem.
I doubt I'm the only competent analyst.
"But with Linux most contributors, be they individuals or companies, are primarily concerned with their own projects."
Your definition of contributor is skewed. A FOSS contributor may do so in many ways. Clearly a project lead for a major project isn't going to contribute further by analyzing the ecosystem; their plate is full. There are others, also known as contributors, who do this. Other contributors administer project websites or write documentation. There is a whole wide array of types of contributors.
That being said, clearly there are more developers than people doing security audits, and it would be nice to see more contribtors in all the other categories, actually.
"... for those that were stupid enough to think that something electronic and stored in a common format over a common communications medium was secure.
Stupid enough? I hate to break it to you, but most if not all secure systems work in exactly the way you decry to be "stupid". Maybe you've heard of SSL?
"I've administered Linux systems since 1995."
So you have "administered Linux" since 1995 and you both chose Ubuntu and didn't do any research to see if the laptop you were buying had hardware that wasn't supported (if we are to believe your story at all)? I wouldn't go around telling anyone that story, let alone posting it on Slashdot.
" It's something that actually requires a little thought and analysis."
No. It doesn't require any thought actually. The problem with your statement stems from your lack of understanding of the term "Patent Troll."
" But a high-profile IT company that starts filing patent law suits can only mean one thing, the company has peaked and is on its way down. "
Actually there is another thing it could mean. It could mean somebody is violating their patents. Had that possibility not occured to you?