si_edgey Thanks for the update!
I have recently been given a laptop which was no longer needed (Acer Aspire V3-771) and have since upgraded it with an SSD and 16GB memory. I'm running the latest W8.1 which I know is good for a few years. I also have made sure to note down VBIOS/BIOS versions, drivers in use, what Windows updates etc etc to ensure I can rollback in the future if needbe. For a home setup, I'm pretty much covered for the next 5 years. My suggestion to others out there is, if you don't absolutely need discrete graphics, try to pick up a used Ivy Bridge laptop or similar gen, downgrade the BIOS if possible to the earliest version, and upgrade SSD and RAM, it will hopefully be comfortable to use and you should get a few more years from 8.1.
This doesn't solve the initial problems, though. I still find it troublesome that a driver update or simply using a particular device causes symptoms. I do believe it simply is a toggle ON>OFF somewhere in the BIOS/Drivers to sort this out. We still need to pressurise Intel et al to offer a solution (either via CLI or some hidden easter egg, it doesn't have to be in the main software suite).