OtherOS++ OFW/CFW thoery
Seing as its possible to downgrade and change firmwares at will now without the need to be in xmb or w/e
Could it not be possible to have a cfw installed IE 3.55 take a backup of the hdd files installed at the time. also having the firmware there.
Wipe hdd. install OFW say 3.55 with other OS take a copy of hdd files as a backup.
that way you could load up into otheros have some sort of app there u would click which xmb mode you would like. say u click on cfw it would install the cfw then restore ur backed up hdd files.
same way if u clicked ofw, it would do the same.
i know if you update to 3.61 you cant have otheros, but would it ever be possible in future? being that the backup of the ofw files would all that would be shown if you reinstalled back to that for safe gaming.
All of this may be possible because we can change the system for 3.55. If we understood how the upgrade routine works, we can modify certain areas ,like you said, during a reflash so they can be untouched. Hell maybe we could get more information to get the keys for 3.55+. It's all about how much we understand and also share with the community.
AS far as I am aware, there's no technical reason why we couldn't at some point have a boot menu on the PS3 with a list of firmwares and OSs to boot into. It should even theoretically be possible to have OFWs listed in this menu. The PSP can do it and the PS3 should be able to as well. While 3.60 and above wont let you install a CFW PUP, OtherOS++ does have access to the update modules as well as the flash memory, so it should be able to flash stuff even after the latest OFW is applied, as long as its set up before hand.
The problem is that nobody has released the tools to do this. I was personally hoping that we'd have a pre-boot OS by now, like the Wii has, that lets you flash and update your NAND, particularly useful if a FW install goes wrong, but who knows when or indeed if this will happen.