Slightly off-topic, but Jarlaxle, have you seen the new IC power hydraulic brake system? They try to copy the advantages of air brakes. Instead of the traditional master cylinder, they have an electronic brake fluid distribution system. Shorter stopping distances, the pedal feels like air brakes, and it includes a very loud motor that cycles at various times while driving or idling. They also use an electric-control spring-applied-hydraulic-released parking brake mounted at the rear of the driveshaft, controlled by a yellow knob push/pull switch on the dash, to give the same failsafe as air brakes.
This system was the topic of the aforementioned conversation with the pissed off mechanic.