I strongly disagree. ESD is not a 'minor' risk - if it were, factories would not invest millions of dollars in ESD protection equipment. They could very well just use that money for R&D.... right?
Now, the truth is that ESD risk assessment is tricky and it's also very dependent on the environment, even on what clothes you're wearing. Sometimes just having the wrong carpet in a room can cause A LOT of issues.
I for one managed to kill an S3 Virge DX video card by wearing the wrong sweater (which I actually knew was dangerous). I had just turned off the PC, tried to remove the video card, the sweater touched the video card, there was a very visible spark and... when I turned it back on, the screen was filled with artifacts (one or more memory ICs were probably damaged).
Also, even worse, as others have pointed out, ESD is not necessarily immediately noticeable, so you might not even realize that at some point in time it was ESD that caused a failure that you just attributed to bad luck. Again, some environments are ESD death traps, while others are inherently much safer.
I don't know if ESD was truly the problem in the OP's case, but it's definitely something worth considering.
2 x PGA132 / 5 x Socket 3 / 9 x Socket 7 / 8 x SS7 / 12 x Socket 8 / 11 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A
5 x Socket 370 / 8 x Socket A / 2 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
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