Probably due to how the text is shaped (non-convex or self-intersecting curves somewhere) and the tesselation algorithm not being able to figure things out or filling them up with infinitely tiny triangles that exceed the minimum precision requirements and bring the engine to its limit....
The font we used was Arial - perhaps I should try Myriad. Presumably this was the font used to test this capability.
We thought it might refer to some form of mesh or map rather than the literal font or text.
We did try various sizes and simplifying, but always had at least one layer barf.
Sounds odd. A simple non-serif font (any of them) should not cause any problems, as obviously they consist mostly of straight lines and balanced curves. What system are you working on? Any chance this could be a precision issue with your graphics hardware because you hacked an unsupported card or have an odd driver version installed?
We use latest intel machines and top of the line Nvidia video cards ($1k each). It also happens on both our editing machines, which are pretty different in configuration and an i7 laptop with an ATi graphics processor (so it is completely out of the picture as it were).
We were careful to try not stretching or modifying the font in our test as we wondered if we were creating an issue with fractional sizes (stretched a bit to fit or made taller).
Thanks for you thoughts though. Looks like we are back to plugins until it gets fixed. Surprised no one else is seeing it as it is very easy to recreate.