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Although it only piggy-backs on rsync I had to give some love to fs-archiver. Great little tool. Even plays nice with Windows boot partitions. Version 0.7 will be something special when it is released!!
Note that rsync (as cp) has a -a --archive option that does most of the work for backups (of course someone would come up with it, given its obvious usefullness). In particular, in rsync, -a equals -rtpoglD, which differs from yours in the only fact that it also preservers device nodes and special files in the process. So, you might get
which is easier to remember (putting "-av" is almost an immediate reflex when I write "rsync"). The --delete has its pros and cons, the -c (for checksumming) is nice, but I think that for cron jobs --progress is somewhat strange ;-) (though interesting in a one-shot)
I like almost everything the -a option does (including its fewer keystrokes), but I wonder what the benefit of copying directories without recursing (-d) is? Maybe I'm missing something.
I use this command to clone one drive of personal data to another, including removing junk files and such. For an incremental/archive backup, --delete is probably inappropriate. For my purposes, though, it keeps everything able to fit on one hard drive! :-)
I agree with you on the -c (MD5sum check) option, since it's quite slow and CPU-intensive. I only use it in a "one-shot" context. For a cron job, I'd almost certainly leave it out. It's good for "making extra sure," but not so much for anything else.