yea i'd imagine IF Fony did remotely brick consoles there would be a tiny bit of an uproar :) , so the choice as always is yours, hack your way onto PSN & play or stay offline.
they are well within their rights to ban either your PSN account, console or both as you are breaking their T&C by hacking your way onto PSN with a CFW, but as yet they haven't banned anyone, people are just getting paranoid & spreading false information.
I'm not to bothered about PSN so will stay offline, thats maybe because I don't have any friends /cry :P
Im kinda in the same boat to :D I dont have many PSN friends but still kinda do miss online, I think ill just do it I dont care if I get banned.. Thanks for all your reply's my mind is at ease now..