Thanks for all the help guys. My only concern with getting a Flite Max is that because it has an equally huge cut out I am likely to snap it in exactly the same manner...
Yep, it's hard to know until you've tried them for any given period of time. I went for the team as they claim a higher carbon fibre content in the base (30% vs 10% for the regular maxflite if I remember correctly), so i'm hoping that translates into a little more strength. I'll try and post some feedback when I get some miles into it.
Things that may cause premature breaking:
-Rider weight (definitely contributed to my failure)
-Excessive force (good old f=ma - for example, as I did, hitting a massive pothole seated)
-Excessive loading/unloading caused by bobbing in the saddle. Typically this is noticed at when conducting higher cadence drills. Bobbing could be indicative of the seat being too high (a rocking type effect - generally witnessed by sore backs of the knees) or one leg being longer than than the other (sometimes witnessed by a lack or power feeling in one leg (seat height is adjusted for shorter leg) or wear marks on the saddle of the shorter leg (seat height adjusted for longer leg) and a sort lower back generally on one side (from the twisting of having to extend one leg further than what it needs to be).
I guess a vertical hop in the rear wheel would add to this loading/unloading though to what extent it would damage the saddle is hard to quantify. First check the rim only (just mount it in the bike whilst it's upside down, put a tyre lever down perpendicular on your chain stays so it very lightly touches the top part of rim and slowly spin the wheel. High spots on the rim will make noise when they brush the lever. Adjust with a spoke wrench. Do the same with your type fitted though if there's a major bump in the tyre, provided it's fitted/bedded correctly, it's time to replace the tyre.