First of all, I notice that you didn't reply to my central point: that all the FSF's projects are "FSFLA open core".
> Network controllers are increasingly tied to the motherboard chipset, and
> value and compact mobos have few expansion points. For graphics, the
> prospect is even worse: AMD increasingly tying their CPUs to ATI GPUs,
> Intel exploring similar paths, and nVidia getting their own x86 CPU
> designs to be able to do the same. How long you think you'll still be able
> to "just" replace these cards?
From the perspective of freedom, Intel's drivers are a lot better than NVidia's. Some companies are indifferent towards open source drivers, but NVidia is actively hostile. Their driver contains a binary blob that's loaded into kernel space and interacts with X.org and other subsystems in very unwholesome ways.
Running closed-source firmware inside a sealed device is just not a big deal. Yes, we would all prefer if the firmware was open source, but that's not likely to happen in the near future. The important thing for freedom is the interfaces presented to developers and users. Proprietary user interfaces and APIs limit users' freedom by encouraging them to depend on non-free code.
The FSF's position on firmware is inconsistent. At various times, I have seen comments to the effect that if the firmware was implemented in hardware, or if it were burned into the chip and unchangeable, it would be ok. However, let's be generous and assume that the FSF just wants the code, all the code, all the time. Ok, fine. Even if they gave you all the code, you would need the circuit specifications in order to make any use of it. And even the circuit specifications are unusable without a chip fabrication facility. And that is unusable without...
And so we encounter an infinite regression that finally ends up with the perverse conclusion that nothing is truly free software. This is pure silliness. In practice, not having circuit schematics or firmware source code has not prevented great open source drivers from being written, and these drivers do promote the open source cause.