This is exactly what I tried to do on several occassions. I know that the "daemon" doesn't run all the time and it only detects devices at bootup. Unfortunately, turning the daemon off had a devastating effect on my system. For example, USB ports did not work, soundcard was not found at all and the system was completely unaware of peripherals like an LPT printer or a USB-connected MP3 player.
you need to probe the modules for those devices then. All hotplug does is load modules for devices - nothing else. If your devices didn't work when loading modules by hand, then they weren't loaded correctly.
For instance, usb: did you make sure to load ehci-hcd (usb2.0) and uhci-hcd/ohci-hcd (usb1.0)?
sound card: how did you test it? was the app still using oss based sound? if so, you need to modprobe snd-oss-pcm.
I know things work without using hotplug... in all my linux experience, I have used hotplug (on purpose), I think twice. I have a HP laptop with a media card reader and a cd burner, and all the common stuff people can never get working - and it works perfectly.
Is hotplug really independent of the hotplug scripts? After all, disabling hotplug scripts doesn't solve the original issue with the "DEVPATH not found" error.
That's different - that discussion is part of your other thread - this discussion was about issues when backgrounding hotplug. My suggestion was "don't background hotplug, don't even use it". The hal.hotplug discussion was from another thread.