With Win8's 'shut down' option really being hibernate in disguise I kinda wonder if you can turn off the hibernate feature at all, or if it would make shutdown act like a traditional shutdown option. Personally I only ever sleep or reset during day-to-day use, and only shutdown when making hardware changes.
Modern versions of windows already have many of these parts you have partitioned sandboxed in the registry so that if they fail then it is fine and Windows will simply over-write the file. Making a separate partition for everything just makes a mess, it does not add to performance or reliability. Also, having a ton of partitions (each with it's own free space at the end because Windows freaks out of you fill a partition or drive) wastes premium edge platter space by forcing information to be written in the middle of the drive where things run slower. It is a lot of work and headache for something that will help very little at best, or make things slower at worst.
For single drive systems:
Agreed, one contiguous partition is generally best. If anything maybe a separate hidden partition with a system image on it, but most likely if the drive is toast it won't do much good anyways.
For 2 drive systems:
SSD: Windows, program, and small files (office documents, pictures, possibly music collection, etc., this is purely so the HDD can go into sleep mode more often, not for performance)
HDD part1: program overflow (if needed). Guarantees that programs get the edge of the drive where they will perform best.
HDD part2: user files (documents, videos, and other bulk files)
HDD part3: system image and file backups
For many-drive systems:
SSD RAID0 part1: drive with OS, Programs, documets, music etc.
SSD RAID0 part2: 60GB Intel RST SSD cache for HDDs (read cache only)
(For content creators) SSD RAID0 part3, or seperate SSD: Render drive, or active project space
HDD RAID1/5 part1: Bulk files such as multimedia, CD/DVD images, network shares, etc.
HDD RAID1/5 part2: system image and file backups
Gives extra space and peak performance to the SSDs on the system drive, while allowing protection of personal files in the event of a virus requiring a system wipe, SSD failure, or a single HDD failure. If done correctly the RAID1 or 5 will also give the HDDs a performance boost to the file storage, but this is not a guarantee, especially if using dissimilar drives.