I'm exeriencing the same problem and want to counter the argument that it's a 
good incentive to correct the apt configuration.

I allways have backports PPA configured to have current packages in latest 
(ubuntu) stable release. At the release time of a new stable, the backports 
repositories are not populated (yet), but I keep them pointing to the new 
version of the repo so that when developers start populating the repo I will 
instantly enjoy the update without having to think about adding the repo back.

This has allways worked, until now.

Although the work-around (quit/restart aptitude) is not a big problem I just 
wanted to add a (in my opinion) valid usecase of maintaining invalid 
repository configuration that should preferably be ignored gracefully.

Best regards,
Martin

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