Let's take the issue of partimage first. The only drawback I am aware of is this: The partition the image is restored must be the same size as the partition the image was make from. Which means, after making the image, DON'T change the size of the partition, or you probably won't be able to restore it.
Tar makes a monolithic file (one large file). If any part of it is corrupted, you risk loosing all of it.
I searched for four years (igoring one particular app in the process) until I found the one which would do what I wanted to do (the one I was ignoring). I refer to DAR
. It's a set of bash scripts which you can modify to suit your situation, make full or incremental backups, full or partial restores, etc. Each file is compressed individually. If one is corrupt, you risk only one. Dar has a skip-ahead feature, so that a corrupt file can be restored in part, and the rest re-created (in the case of text and data files).
Permissions are preserved. The one drawback I'm aware of is that DAR doesn't restore file creation times. It will restore the file, but use the restoration time as the file creation time. I haven't check recently. That bug may have been repaired.
Oh! Forgot to mention. Dar doesn't care about partition sizes. Backup a small partition; restore to a larger; or vice versa. Not a problem, so long as it will fit into the partition.