is the reason various indep. mechanics have told me I must replace the lower ball joints and control arms (now 180k miles) is because I hadn’t ever replaced my struts? …didn’t do alignments either.
More likely they are recommending replacement is that the components are worn out, why didn’t you ask the mechanic?
If your struts are bad they would have recommended replacing them, of course at 180,000 miles it wouldn’t hurt.
I would think to accelerate wear on those components the alinement would have to be so far off to make tire wear excessive and/or steering difficult.