OK, I figured out how to get a couple of earlier DEV builds and it looks like the tab bar is broken in both 2163 & 2164 although not in quite the same way. At least in 2163 & 2164 it draws correctly, but the active tab highlight doesn't work and when I switch tabs the names all become bold.
Hmmm... I don't see anyone else complaining about tab bar stuff on Linux 32-bit so maybe it's not ST2 but my system config. In order to "upgrade" ST2, I've just been moving the old "Sublime Text 2" directory out of the way and un-taring the latest tarball in it's place. It's worked for me over several "deploys" so I just assumed that this was the way it was done. Am I missing something? Should I be cleaning out "cookies" or something when I upgrade to a new version of ST2?
BTW: I can't seem to find older DEV builds beyond a couple of releases back. Is there some place that has the old builds besides the CDN?