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quest "Redefining The Power Couple"
There's an error here: "Item drops appear based on number of attacks and not damage"

That is not true, the materials are dropped based on the total damage dealt. Once your cumulative damage reaches a threshold, a material will drop. The threshold is different for different monsters as well.

This can be easily observed if you use a Great sword and try to only land charged attacks, then compare the frequency you get the drops with Dual Blades. You'll notice the Great sword will need way less attacks for a material to drop than Dual Blades.
100% true, you can even get multiple drops from a single hit, The crappier the monster the lower its drop threshold his. it is even possible to get 5-10 drops or more on a wake up hit with GS.
Especially nice during arena quests with multiple monsters! More monsters = more total monster health = more damage for you to deal before you run out of monsters = more drops.
The best end game reason to go back and repeat low rank hunts.
I have a problem with the mantle. It seems that any drop will vanish after some time. This made it hard to farm during arena fights. Is this supposed to happen?
It happens with all materials
Yes, after a set time, materials and slinger pods will despawn. This includes whole monsters and their tails