UNIX:Aqua creating alternate mount points?


I have had some experience with Linux and creating mount points. I know that Apple does not use amd and has some unique ways that it deals with disks. Is there a way of arbitrarily mounting a partition or volume to a directory in Aqua (i.e. creating a volume mount point under /usr/local/ for instance)? Normally I would edit /etc/fstab.

I would like to mount separate partitions under /Mac OS X/Applications and /Mac OS X/Users. This seems to be the cleanest way of keeping user and application data away from the OS partition.

Alternatively, I could make /Mac OS X/Applications and /Mac OS X/Users into symbolic links to different partitions. However, I'm not sure if this would have bad side effects in Aqua.

The problem I see is this: The "Mac OS X/Applications" directory has a Finder shortcut in the tool bar and "Mac OS X/Users" may have system dependencies for its short-cuts as well (i.e related to "~/Favorites" and "~/"). While the shell (and presumably BSD subsystem) "sees" these directories as /Applications and /Users (i.e. directories of the root partition), the Finder "sees" them as folders of the OS X partition (i.e. "Mac OS X/*") the literal paths differ (at least at the level of the GUI interface). I'm worried that a link created at the BSD level for a Finder related "resource" might cause Aqua to barf. Has anyone had this experience?