I like the sound of this advice:
My suggestion to him would be take a hard look at Granite Digital's large product list of FireWire enclosures, bridge boards, cables, and complete single units and RAID arrays. Throughout the last several years of reported FW problems, I've never had one instance of trouble from Granite stuff. They write their own firmware for the chipsets and I don't believe an update has been required since the release of 10.2. I use Granite enclosures on all manner of Macs from legacy machines to the latest G5s and move them from machine to machine; OS 9 to Tiger.
For years Granite was the leader in top quality SCSI cables, terminators, RAID, etc. and switched their main thrust to FireWire about five years ago. I have no connection with them except as a satisfied customer for about 10 years.