I am glad to see that odin is going to be used for this phone. Still don't quite get ADB and whatnot. For those not familiar with Odin it is pretty much your best friend. Odin allows for flashing of factory images along with radios and clockwork mod recoveries.
I will use my Fascinate as an example. If i want to flash back to stock i have a stock odin file that will to go to Eclair,Froyo, or Gingerbread. Any and all modifications go back to stock at that point so bootloaders, radios, and obviously the rom itself and the kernel. Odin then also allows for you to switch radios. Again the Fascinate for example, the fascinate has 6 over all radios give or take. One is designed for Elcair, one or two for Froyo and the rest for Gingerbread. With there being more then one option for certain android operating systems you can use the one which is best for you. If you flash the wrong modem the phone will still work and what not but might not properly call or send and receive txt msgs. Last but not least you can use Odin to flash recoveries. When going to any ICS rom on the fascinate you actually have to flash a recovery that allows for you to install the appropriate files. This is done through Odin. So in a lot of major cases you go back to Odin. Flashing new roms and kernels are still done via the phone in recovery.
The flash counter thing i will admit is new to me. I heard about it on some of the newer Samsung phones but i never heard or encountered it with the Fascinate
We also should sooner or later have a mobile odin available to us if not already. Pretty much what this means is that all the things i described above can be done from your phone independently without the use of a computer from a mobile version of odin. So you can fix things on the go.
EDIT***** Forgot another cool feature of Odin. Custom Odin files. So try to follow me. So as I mentioned you can through Odin go back to a factory image. What you can create on your own though is a custom image to go back to. So again to go from Stock Eclair,Froyo or Gingberbread to ICS on the Fascinate requires 2 flashes through odin and 3 reboots technically. Instead of going through all that i can create my own custom Odin file that will have me right back to the latest and greatest, So straight to a ICS rom with the proper kernel,bootloaders & radio. So no need for a step by step process to get you back to where you were you can just flash through Odin. I have yet to do this and really see how it works but the ability to do something like this is pretty awesome.
All in all the Samsung experience is a very unique one and what i would like to say is the best. You don't have to worry about s-off and hboots and locked bootloaders and what not. Its straight and to the point. Hope this was of more help to better understand Odin and its uses.