Originally Posted by sfhub
Depending on which level you are looking at, it didn't really change the behavior, but rather how your data is organized.
The advantage of keeping the sdcard as a directory under /data is you don't need to decide how much space to split between the sdcard and your /data. Also permissions on files are more flexible being in an ext4 filesystem. Finally since everything is emulated and accessed via MTP, you don't need to unmount the filesystem, so your PC can access it.
There are also cons with this approach, but that is what Google is going with.
Right, that makes sense. Thanks for that, sfhub.
It seems like the recoveries are leaving the /sdcard directory untouched, so the lesson for me is to never use Android to do the factory reset, but to use the recovery.
Regarding the install-recovery.sh point, thanks again for all the info, I've learned so much from this thread, esp from your input. I guess I must have done something else around the time I installed CWM which got rid of that file or something.