I've never used Mondo. After reading up on it, it seemed like overkill for my needs. PartImage would be useful if I wanted to ghost a partition. However, the main limitation I find with PartImage is that the partitions must be the same size (object and target). I read a work-around to the size limitation, but that way some time ago, and I don't remember it.
I spent the last 4 years looking for a backup option that would give me what I wanted. I tried commercial, shareware, and common Unix tools such as tar. Tar doesn't do it, mainly because tar makes one file, and if any part is corrupted, you loose it all.
This year, I finally tried Dar. Wow! That's what I've been looking for all this time.
To address the points in your post:
-Dar provides a static version of itself which can be copied to the backup media before backup begins. If you've trashed your system somehow, you can boot from a rescue disk, or your distro's install cd, copy dar back to the hdd, then begin restoration.
-Backup options in dar include multi-disk backups to: floppy, zip, cd, and dvd. It also possible to make one monolithic backup, then later split it across multiple disks (slices in dar-speak).
-I tested the backup by renaming folders and individual files, then restored from backup without any problems. Dar backs up each file individually. Just specify the path to the folder or file to restore, and dar does it.
-I backed up 6.6 G and ended up with a 4.0 G compressed backup. Dar testimonials claim backups of terabyte systems.
-hardware support? Dar doesn't seem to be hardware dependant.
-speed of archiving is limited by the speed of the system you're using. My box is 4 years old and slow (450 MHz cpu). It took over an hour, but less that two hours, to backup and verify.
-restore to another cd? I don't know.
-data loss is minimal if a part of the archive is corrupted. Since dar backs up each file individually, you can't loose the entire backup unless you try very hard to make it happen. If one file is corrupted, dar has a skip-ahead feature which allows restoration of most of the file. You would then need to examine it to see which part need to be repaired.
I haven't seen such functionality in any other backup solution I have tried.