Too Many Nodes, and Your Workflow Explodes!

Recently I had some issues with an SPD workflow I was making. I had 5 Start Approval Processes, and everything worked well. Then I had a requirement to break out one of the 5 processes into 2, so that made 6 approval processes altogether. And everyone knows that an SPD workflow can only handle 7000 nodes, right? I mean, who doesn’t know that?!? And you know that every Start Approval Process brings 1176 nodes with it, right? So simple math tells us that alone is 7056 nodes! About that same time the 2 step approval process got cut back to just one, so I was tried to cull parts of the processes that I THOUGHT WERE UNECESSARY. Turns out they were necessary and I had deleted the portion of the processes that actually created the tasks and emails! So I scrambled about for a day or so trying to figure out where the create task/email section was. Three hours before a status meeting about the workflow I decided to scrap the original and rebuild it using Collect Feedback processes. Collect Feedback processes have 1010 nodes each. Not lightweight, but lighter than the approval processes. Even with these lighter processes I had to cut back some of the other nodes in the workflow I myself had created. In any case, the moral of the story is that generally speaking the limit for Start Approval Processes in a workflow is 5, and 6 for Collect Feedback Processes.