PSPFanboy.com brings us the great news that v2.71 PSP firmware can now be emulated.
This means you can keep your precious v1.5 firmware without a taking one way trip to Sony's latest and not-so-greatest homebrew-restricting firmware. All those UMD games that force you to upgrade your firmware in order to play them won't know the difference. You can even use the features of v2.71, like the browser with flash support, etc.
Unfortunately, the PSP browser still sucks. I tried visiting homestarrunner.com since we now have flash support, but that was short-lived. The PSP ran out of memory, and I couldn't see the whole page anyway.
However, slapping in the Midway Arcade Classics UMD I've wanted to play finally resulted in gameplay! That was a nice change. Now I don't have to worry about buying any games made up to this point.
This is also a step in a positive direction for the homebrew scene. Firmware emulation means custom firmware can be made, and our trusty homebrewer's are bound to make an awesome featureset for the PSP.
PSP homebrew advocates have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.