I'm wondering whether these machines don't boot into OS 9 because Apple set it this way, or because they can't. Anyone have any insight on this? If the former, there may be someone in the Mac community who will write a piece of software that will allow these machines to boot into OS 9. A similar thing happened with older Macs that weren't supposed to run OS X - someone wrote "Ex-Post Facto", which allows these machines to run OS X.
I'm no tech, but I believe it's the firmware (or the Apple ROM) that's been slimmed down so as to optimize OS X booting. Makes sense. If you don't need all that firmware code to be loaded that is associated with booting and running MacOS 9, it'll speed things up and make the firmware code simpler too.
Apple would have been better to wait until June across the board as music apps are just getting Xed and Quark is still well away.
BUT maybe a firmware fix may come up,
It is a CHOICE by Apple and not without merit. At least there is still a good supply of dual boot machines and LOADS of processor upgrades in the works or available.