There is a modified boot.efi that basically provides a 64-32 thunking layer for efi system calls so nvram and etc commands still work fine. I was looking to do this for a while but I didn't want to pay for the bandwidth to download a 6GB OSX installer file over the cell network, so I had to wait until I had real internet again.http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread. ... 176&page=2
But wait! It gets better! Somebody has built a script to make a suitable installer that pulls your board-id, the .efi, the OSX installer, everything you need, and puts it onto a USB drive to boot from. Automatically! I did this with 10.9.2 a bit over a week ago onto a spare 160gb hard disk so I still have my 10.6 install in case something goes wrong. It was super easy. The utility is named sixty-for on thirty-two or SFOTT. Which makes perfect sense
It will supposedly also work with mountain lion but I don't know any advantage to running that over Mavericks.http://oemden.com/?page_id=531
Of course, I would still disable automatic OS updates, but other than that, it's probably as seamless as it's ever going to get. You need a suitable graphics card upgrade (I have an Apple Radeon 5770 1gb) as mavericks doesn't support the original 7300gt. I also have upgraded the processors (lots of info about that out there...) and 10gb of memory (what the machine came with), but mavericks also runs well on my MBA with 1.4 c2d and 2gb ram (more sluggish than 10.6, but it never gets 'hung up' or especially slow and battery life is still as good as 10.6, I don't use it for very heavy-duty programs..)
Far, far, superior to running OSX in vmware fusion. And your 8-years-old machine can be up to date once more! Sleep works, hardwaremonitor.app can see all the fans and temperatures, sound works, icloud works. The whole shebang.
As for the disk situation, right now I am using my backup firewire disk. I'm planning to purchase a trio of 2 or 3 tb (or 4tb, didn't know they even came that big! ...if they will work on my 'pooter) disks and doing the zfs raidz thing on them. So what I have to do is not crash my backup disk before then
ZFS is about as simple as it gets for filesystem maintenance. The descriptions are a chaotic mess but actually running the thing, that's simplicity itself.
Better documentation needed
My problem is the people who use and recommend ZFS are the sort of people that like making things difficult. You're right, there's not much to do with it and all that would be necessary would be another tab in diskutility. But the sort of people that say ZFS is great are also the people that like to recompile linux kernels for fun, so I've always been a bit too much leery of it