I wonder if you can boot from the Firewire 800 port?
firewire is bootable on the mac. hold the option key on startup to select boot partition. as a performer, this is a very important feature for me as it allows for booting from a cloned HDD or another mac in target disk mode. should something bad happen to my main notebook (hard drive crap out, screen dies, etc.), i have multiple boot options at my immediate disposal. downtime tops is 2 or 3 minutes! my backup routines are VERY simple; click clone drive and walk away!
There are a couple of Firewire 800 external HDD docks/enclosures... downside is you lose access to that port for other accessories.
firewire can be daisy chained. some devices/programs are picky about this though.