@Reedy, in the "Alerts" window, I sometimes see "Long article with a stub tag" in those situations. AWB does not remove the tag in those cases. Is there a character-count grey-area where the alert is displayed, above which it triggers the removal?
@Rjwilmsi, no, but a talk page check just before stub-tag removal (so as to minimize unnecessary talk page queries AND to minimize removing desired stub tags) does seem like a good idea.
I'm just 1) curious what triggers AWB to remove a stub tag, and 2) reporting what I see as wrong behavior.