Well, I know nothing of raid, so I doubt I can help there. And I don't mess with partitioning drives usually, I'd toss a cheap 40GB drive in and install your new OS on it to play with. I keep the large drives in a separate computer completely, and toss all my big archival files (music, videos) over to it. I also run bittorrent over there, so that we only run one instance for the whole house, and I don't clog up my computer with downloads.
OCZ has some stuff on their page about disabling the platter optimizations in windows. Didn't check into it though. Still up in the air over getting a new drive at all here... just too damn lazy I guess.