For two reasons: First they created a "supported" image that had no IgnorePkg = linux as it should since they don't support upgrading the kernel. They did this on their Ubuntu image. They failed to it with the Arch image. Second, you have no access to the kernel that is used to boot the system. Even after upgrading system kept booting the old kernel but network was still down. Nothing a user can do at this point.
You can access a recovery image on linode I'm guessing there is no such thing available for Digital Ocean is why he was asking for help in recovering files (even prgmr offers a recover images that you can use to recover files).
The fact that he didn't get any help is a problem that is what support is supposed to do and if he expects a higher level of support than Digital Ocean provides and Linode provides that I see no problem.
Hmm, I still don't follow you. Does Linode have this? After moving I haven't found any difference in features. Perhaps I just wasn't using this on Linode? What does it let you do that restoring from a backup can't?
(The use case in this thread is backups as voidlogic mentioned.)
The use case I gave was looking up logs to see how something failed and to access files that aren't backed up but still exist on the virtual drive (this can happen when the OS fails to boot). You can also repair the virtual install if you accidentally messed up a configuration file or something like that.