INT Grid Function can cause NoData Values

I took great care today to extract a section of 1" NED data using precise DD coordinates. To merge a large section of data together, I had to convert the data to integer data (the adf file was over the 2GB limit). I'd seen that before so I knew I had to convert to integer. I used the following syntax with the INT function to be sure the values rounded properly since INT simply rounds down ARC:newgrid = INT(oldgrid + .5). To my dismay, A whole section of the grid disappeared ! The problem appears to be some kind of overflow though I'm not sure how this data would store the kinds of values described. I used INT without the (+ .5) and the data was preserved.

The Article says:
Input to the INT function must be within the range of -2,147,483,583.0 to 2,147,483,583.0 (note: the range of createable floating point values is +/- 2,147,483,520.0). The output is all NODATA when the input exceeds this range.

The ESRI Technical Article

I would venture to say that this is a bug and that there is no good reason why a dataset should be limited this way. Then again, I'm also not sure why an adf file needs to be less than 2GB. With hard drives storing large volumes of data these days, I guess I don't understand why we need that limitation (processing up until that point seems to go pretty smoothly and rapidly).