"From top being closest to the outer edge of hard disk (faster access) & first to be created when partitioning linux:"
The fastest access is the center of the hard disk. The disk arm does not "park" at zero between accesses. It moves from whereever it is to the next access location.
You should order the partitions so that the busiest partition is in the middle and the least used partitions at the ends. /boot is only used at boot up and never accessed again. If you have a reasonable amount of memory then swap will never be used or rarely used. How much /root, /tmp, and /home are used can vary a lot from one system to another. / and /usr are always busy. So I recommend:
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.