is there any way to do archival storage ( storage to a drive which you store off-site in case of fire/flood/theft ), other than the woefully slow USB2

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    You can mount is as a drive in Finder and so in turn can back it up using one of the commercial online backup providers (Crashplan, Mozy, Amazon, etc.)
    Or if you have access to, say, a friend's network use free tools such as Rsync (I use the DropSync GUI, available from App Store) to automatically back it up.
    I use both of these options for my critical data - cloud backup (guaranteed but slow) and Rsync to a Mac Mini server at a friend's house.

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  • Yes. You can use a gigabit ethernet storage device that is compatible.

    USB2 = 480 MB/s
    Gigabit ethernet = 1000 MB/s

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