When the client is configured with just one address (an HA proxy for example), and receives a timeout. Because this is the only server in the list, the client waits a full second before attempting to reconnect. During this time, all operations fail until it reconnects. There is another enhancement pending (http://www.couchbase.com/issues/browse/NCBC-36) to improve some of that behavior.
However, this bug is for the larger problem of not being able to service requests without a connection to the streaming API even though the vbucket map is still valid.