What you have brought up is an important point. It has been brought up on other boards, but I think this is the first time anyone has mentioned it here.
I would certainly like to know an average time a CF card would last with windows running on it. Any ideas? Are you thinking weeks or months?
I currently am using a 340mb microdrive. When I bought it, it was quite a bit less than a 256mb CF card. I wish I were able to report on the reliability of a CF card running windows but I can't as I don't have one. I can relate though, that the microdrive has been running windows98 perfectly since August.
And it even sustains temperatures that will burn your finger by touching it for more than a few seconds. Of course, heat like that isn't good for it. So, fortunately, it seems to be running far cooler now - not sure why, but maybe because I got rid of a whole bunch of extra space wasting junk.
Also, how many times could the internal sandisk support having an OS image written to it? Would each write count as 1 write cycle to each sector/byte/unit?