I've noticed this weird behavior where kTorrent would just stall downloading stuff if left on its own for a few hours. Once you activate kTorrent window from the panel it just gets on with the job, changing status from "stalled" to "downloading" in a few seconds.

Could it have something to do with the external disk I'm downloading on (some of the downloads, not all) being physically different one and connected via usb but mounted in a home directory?

I suspect this because Windows machine connected via samba also loses connection after a while as if there's some "time expiration" set on mounting drives into home.

Here is the fstab line for the suspected mount:

/dev/disk/by-id/usb-Seagate_FreeAgentDesktop_3QK0A0N7-0:0-part1 /home/stan/Seagate ext2 acl,user_xattr 1 2