I go much further than simply running betas, I pull from master (where the active development happens. It's usually more stable than the betas / stables too, as I'm always fixing new bugs and trying hard not to introduce new ones.
It's said that using unit tests can reduce the number of bugs in a piece of software by as much as 80%, it would be nice, if more people did it (I should probably add more myself, only 25% test coverage lol).
Long gone are the days when I'd like to tinker for ages with new software and plugins. Now I try to keep my forums as stable as possible and only wordpress gets updated as soon as releases are launched, since it's more of a security issue. Otherwise, I just want something that works and is stable.
Even stable version are a pain in the hiney to keep on top of now. Given how many webmasters run old versions, maybe vendors should consider 'long term support' update and support plans that accomodate folks who keep previous versions running longer like bigboard admins with customized sites without kllling addons built using legacy apis (as long as theyre maintained/secure).