Yes perhaps so but we should send a postcard to the op.....
Well my puppy 4 and lucid thingies are all initrdfs.... that at least gives the possibility of reverting to the initrd to shut down. Keeps the init script simpler too and I like being able to access the initrd file system once booted. I dynamically create all the pup_ro(n) so its simpler for that too. Not sure if cpio initrd can do a boot loadiing splash either ... me like pretty.
Cpio initrd like busybox init is great for embedded systems though seems to leave us a little short changed with a mini distro.
100MB or less..my sweet spot... we might even be in agreement