You can get the HDAdvance exploit that goes on the ps2 memory card allowing you to use the harddrive. You'll need someone with either swapmagic or a modchip to trasfer the file to your memory card. You then use a ps1 game to boot the exploit up and you've got HDAdvance for free.
Oh man, wish I had seen this thread earlier. I did the firmware hack on my ps2. Downloaded the hdloader and used a pc side program called exploit sender and a copy of action replay max to transfer the file. It was easy download the exploit, connect your ps2 and comp via ethernet cable, set up your comps ip and ps2 ip to be close to eachother, tell action replay to look for online game saves and then run exploit sender. Takes a little messing around with but usually works for me.
Action replay is a good buy as you can use it to get saves for other games, I also use it to get my yearly NCAA Football roster saves/hot coffee mod on San Andreas (not worth it)
@The Real Jdbye, sure, my AKG headphones give a bit of a surround effect too because they've got a great fucking sound stage despite being stereo by nature lmao. But yes that's my point exactly. The only benefit to a sound bar is they generally "just work" (except for when they don't)