I have been reading up and noticed that the PS3 softmod scene seems to have died once firmware hit 3.55. I have a 3.66 and from the looks of it I'm going to need to get one of those E-flashers to get it down to lower firmware before I can think about adding custom firmware on it.
My question is does anyone know what so drastically changed in the firmware to cause so much difficulty? I have never heard before of a community having so much trouble getting into a device!
There is not any easy answer to your question. Basically it is all about the keys. You need the keys to decrypt. The PS3 is way more complicated than the Wii or the Xbox360.
Take a look here if you want to learn how the PS3s internal hardware and software work.