Probably because of the one line in the FAQ that states:
If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.
The first part of the question, where you request specific advice on what channel you should proceed through (IRC, Google Groups, yada yada) could lead to open-ended discussions about which chat room is better for what. Plus, this is just one aspect of your multi-faceted question. You'd probably have better luck going straight to IRC yourself. #hardware has some good people.
You say that while you have asked an embedded software question, you have done more than that. You have directly asked a "how to" question:
And more specifically, how do I:
-Find out if the firmware can be repackaged with existing tools (such as firmware-mod-kit)
-perform checks/tests before pushing to the device to minimise bricking risk
This is unanswerable. You could right a book about the second bullet alone. That's why it's getting downvoted.