As frustrating as it is, it is no longer a mystery to me. I have had hubs that I thought were hot to trot go idle. What I discovered was that the idled hubs were not receiving much outside traffic. Oh, sure my friends and fellow hubbers were viewing it day and night, but I wasn't getting traffic from people who weren't my friends and followers.
While internal traffic is good, outside traffic is what we really want from our hubs. Tweaking idled hubs may bring a hub back to life, but it may not be good enough for sustainability. Reformatting, doing more research to give a hub more "meat" is what gives a hub a fighting chance for reaching the Google masses and for survival.
Now, when a hub goes idle I don't get frustrated. I look at the hub and determine whether or not I can make it better - meatier. If I can make it better, then I do it and republish it. If not, then I just delete it. I don't even waste time putting it on another website because if it is not good enough for HubPages, then it is not good enough anywhere else.
peeples, if you have 278 comments, that is an indication that you have a very valuable hub. Try going a little deeper with it. Answer a question that a reader might have after reading it. I believe, all you need to do is intensify the hub (make it meatier) and you will bring it back to a long life.
Remember, HubPages is not here to hurt us; they are here to help us. When you succeed, they succeed. And, no, my comment is not a paid endorsement. This is just what I have discovered from observation.