First, thanks for all the leads. You guys have been very helpful.
To answer the investigatory questions: I have varied also in my selection of power supply, so it would be unlikely that those are the issue. I've been using the Pis largely as cheap servers. The most recent card to crash was in a VPN client and router to a virtual network interface. Before that, I have lost the cards doing things as innocuous as being a NAS, and as far as I know, I lost one before I it was really doing anything. I should be clear: not all of my cards have failed. I have two that are running just fine, and have been for months. One Pi, which I think is at something like four months of uptime, is using a card in all ways identical to one that failed (I even ordered them together).
Now, I have been using (recently, I was using other images before) the raspbian 2013-09-25 image available from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads
. It is my understanding that a) the firmware for the system is contained in and read the first partition of that image, and that b) it contains the most up-to-date release of kernel and firmware available. If the former is incorrect, how can I go about upgrading the firmware? If the latter is incorrect, where can I find more up-to-date files to use? If I'm correct in assuming that this is all written into the image, I could pretty easily mount and modify an image I have to use newer firmware.
I'll pursue read only root for the moment, but this definitely seems like a non-optimal scenario. (Most of the point of a Raspberry Pi is tinkering on it!)
I appreciate all the help. Any links to point me in the right direction would be super useful. The github posting seemed to recommend modifying the source code for the a driver, and produced mixed results. Now, if this is the only way, I'll pursue that path and make it work, but I'm definitely under the impression that if this is a known issue, there is probably a simpler solution.