Oh yeah you're right, don't know why I was thinking ext2..
must be getting late..
However many (including myself) format a USB thumb drive with ext2 to create a frugal install.. so maybe not such a bad idea after all
primary goal for core2usb was to offer easy start up on windows without CD burning and without manual tweaking like using unetbootin or other windows generic installers.
My standard USB setup is a small, 64MB FAT partition to move data betwwen LINUX and WINDOWS and an EXT4 partition for LINUX itself. Journaling file system is a must have, it saved my life many times. Ext2 is just like a FAT, can be corrupted easily. Reduced life time is just an urban legend. I have never seen any USB stick died due to too much writes. I have seen lost, broken sticks or cheap ones gettin faulty after 2-3 month but not because of intensive use. Also, they are cheap. For sure loss of data is costing more than a theretically demaged USB stick.
However, I have a draft idea fore core2usb which can create a proper USB stick layout and setup with native LINUX file system starting from WINDOWS and downloaded ISO.
BTW, if anyone interested core2usb is a python program.