In principle, I agree with your idea, but the reason I have these 60GB disks is for HD recordings. At 15-20G or more per movie, there aren't very many movies per disk, and setting a fixed partition size really limits how many movies the disk can hold.
For example, Matrix at 22.5GB implies partition size shouldn't be smaller than, say 25GB. That's only 2.25 movie partitions per HDD instead of being able to combine a big movie with a couple small ones. Another way to say that is I only get two movies per HDD instead of three, a 33% inefficiency or "loss".
(There's also the problem that "60GB" disks contain 56GB.)
I agree, though, that if I were to prioritize ScanDisk execution time, it would make sense to use smaller partitions.
Furthermore, we can foresee that my objection will become less significant in a few years when 400GB drives are available, thanks again to the technologists at IBM, and their competitors. Then the choice will be between 15 3-hour movie partitions vs. 22 2-hour movies. Still 33% inefficiency, but at least we'll be able to fit a significant number of movies on one HDD.
Besides, unless disk access time drops dramatically, the requisite 100 hours for a 400GB ScanDisk will make partitions mandatory! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif