I can relate to you frustration! I too have used Intel exculsively because they didn't worry about overclock etc., just made the damn thing reliable which is the main requirement for me. Plain-Jane barebones no eyecandy rock solid does the job full stop!!
My old trusty Intel D875PBZ running a P4 extreme cpu with xp sp2 pro has been running non-stop 24 hrs a day for the last 10 years [it's a voice/fax office machine so must stay on] running photoshop, vegas 10, premier video capture plus a host of other apps with only the odd restart for updates, app install, cache clearing etc. and has never-missed-a-beat. Not one hang or bsod!
But, as I've said before elsewhere, I do cut a little slack because of the bus widths and hence trace densities coupled with the rf frequencies that they're trying to make them run at, is something of a design engineers nightmare!
The whole pcb is now one big shf radio, requiring rf design principles to be carefully considered. The copper traces are now not much more than waveguides for the signal to follow!
For an idea of what I'm talking about, just check out this Intel design guideline for usb2
That being said though, there does seem to be some issues here that are really grass roots problems that should have been picked up with only a modicum of RnD
I'll get off my box now and return to your problem - I have no idea!!
But I can say that my DX79SR board suffers a hang at 5A with a usb hdd and wireless k/b dongle plugged into rear usb2 ports, and I too are sceptical about how the bios is configuring different devices at POST.