I've since done this several times and have been trying to find different quicker ways (there doesn't seem to be one). Some notes.
1) You don't seem to be able to make any pre-partitioning schemes to the card pre wp7 install (tried ext2, 3, 4, exfat, etc) as it WILL be over-written.
2) You can't resize the WP7 partition after its been created, it changes the software raid FS that WP7 uses
3) This takes a VERY long time, please be patient.
4) I activated my live services AFTER I copied the file systems. I ended up creating a copy in VFS for backup once I was done. Hopefully this process will be easier in the future.