In my 14 years cycling career only once I had to replace rotor due to wear. And that rotor was 6 years old and used for heavy downhill riding in all conditions. I've gone through a lot of pads on that rotor (like 20-30 pairs). And only when I could actually feel with my fingers the groove on the surface, I replaced it. Also it started eating pads like mad - uneven breaking surface wore pads much quicker.
I'd say rotors is something you would not replace quite often. And rotors would not fail on you like a worn-out rims - rotors won't split easily. So for a sake of measurements, 30% thickness reduction would be a good indication to replace the poor thing.