The Media Center In Detail
The Media Center's transfer speed is significantly better with a FireWire connection. But then you can't use the card reader and the USB 2.0 ports (one in front, one in back).
That leaves one sensible option for users who have both types of interface available: if you connect both interfaces, the FireWire connection is automatically assigned to the hard drive while the USB ports and the card reader run via USB 2.0. That makes sense in light of the transfer speed, too, since even operating a relatively modest USB 1.1 device can severely impair the transfer rate over the USB 2.0 interface.
The Media Center is a bit swollen in front, since that's where the flash card readers are located.