Re #26 ... you are 110% correct ... but unfortunately ... so am I. When I wrote the original post, the lack of ability to form a connection WAS indeed not being handled by the ESP8266 (Espruino port).
Since then, code has been added to the espconn_reconn_cb() via issue #595.
So ... YES ... handling a lack of connection CAN be caught in the espconn_reconn_cb() and YES ... at the time of writing ... handling a lack of connection was NOT being handled (but is now).
I do not believe that your statement is correct. If the connection fails you will get a "recon_cb".