Apologies, but I did not believe that ~20 lines of code was "a large block of code". It was primarily presented to show the valid reason why I was passing Strings into the Number-based values.
As to the documentation, yes it says "Number" and goes further to describe these values as being "numeric" in nature. Yet the behavior of the Slider is completely inconsistent as .value (also stated that it must be a number) is quite happy to get a value from a Textbox (a string), and again the data validation code in Slider is happy to cast the Number-based values, while the UI portion freaks out.
With this approach, I will be forced to write "condom code" around the calls to .slider(...) when it could very easily scrubbed inside the code (which is being done in some of the code, but not all of it). If you want to go with the "Feature" description, then the casting present for .value and within the data validation portions of the Slider should be removed, because as it, the behavior is inconsistent (and therefore not very Feature-like).
It was due to this inconsistency that caused me a half day's work to identify the reason for this inconsistent behavior.