One thing I dont understand is why people (outside of warezers) would prefer the hassle of a cloned drive when a simple no-cd crack is available?
A few reasons. No CD cracks explicitly violate the games EULA for one. Not such a big deal to most people, but that puts them in the "warez/cracking" category that many public forums discourage. The second reason is that often times No-CD cracks lead to incompatibility problems of their own. For example, if you cracked Battlefield 1942 (this was at least true around the 1.3 patch, not sure now), you could have issues with the game crashing and could only play on other cracked servers.
I love using clone drives because I can make my one backup copy under Fair Use laws and put away my phyiscal media. That means no installing from the CD again (I keep a large storage drive), and no having to use the CD or potentialy risky no CD cracks.
Though admittedly, there is one game I have been unable to backup properly. UT2004. This is because I have the DVD edition and, as of yet, Alcohol 120% doesn't include any native DVD protection resources.