I agree with your assessment. Except that we also have some huge UNIX mainframes (well, VMS actually, which apparently isn't UNIX *L*).
Administer from any device? I can already administer our entire network from my Windows CE device (PDA). Reboot a good chunk of our servers (all the newer ones have management ports built in) gracefully, start and stop apps, work with users, etc.
To be perfectly honest, Linux shines in the appliance space (same as you're saying).
As far as automated distributions, we have a 3-tier test lab. Nothing leaves it until it's proofed. Sure, a novice or uncareful sysadmin could do some serious damage, but that's true of any environment, with any tool on any OS. Hell, an idiot sysadmin could
bring down a network with SNMP agents