gdb needs a mode to tell it to not use minsyms, at least for certain kinds of lookup during testing.
PR 17602 is an example where things work, but only because minsyms come to the rescue.
This is not the first time I've seen gdb work but only because one lookup fails (where it shouldn't have) and then another kind of lookup succeeds and from the user's perspective (and the testsuite's!) things are OK. But they are not!
Another possibility is have a mode where we don't demangle minsyms.
Need to collect some perf data regardless: In my monster benchmark, 12 of 13 seconds of gdb startup time is reading ELF symbols.
Note: PR 17604 addresses the performance cost of demangling minsyms.