"because the eSATA connector is not designed robustly enough to survive a large number of connects/disconnects."
Specifically eSATA cable and connectors/recepticals designed for much more re-inserts then regular SATA connectors (I recall these limited to 50, but better check SATA org specifications).
You are probably right about all of that, P. But the bottom line is this:
1. You don't have to be concerned with disconnecting and reconnecting the cable. I've proven that by not disconnecting them as my SOP for many years now.
2. Because of number 1, you don't have to be concerned with any possibility of a short shelf-life for those connectors.
You probably know me well enough to understand that I like to see evidence supporting any internet "factoids". But another thing about me is that if there is enough doubt cast on something even without evidence (such as whether connectors were or were not designed for robustness) I think the smartest thing to do is to use caution, just in case that "factoid" turns out to be a real fact.
And the good news is that it doesn't even matter. But if you are someone regularly disconnecting and connecting those connectors, you will then not be surprised when on connection number 51, things don't work out the way you might have first planned.
So the word to the wise here is still "be careful" and "minimize the number of connections".