rjek: the kernel business is nonsense, what can be described as the kernel in pre-RISC OS 5 is a tiny amount of non vectorised processor and machine specific code, absolutely none of which is necessary to the features of Select which would be desirable by users and programmers.
The only thing you can't do in a limited softload is some of reorganisation of code in to separate module which has occurred in Select, mainly on the whim of its chief programmer rather than any sound technical requirements. RISC OS 5 had its own reorganisation to form the HAL abstractions and would not gain anything from such changes.
I'll say it again, there are no valid technical reasons why ROL cannot offer the vast majority of Select features over RISC OS 5 with very little development effort. They would have a potential market of Iyonix users of far greater than the existing 1000 Select subscribers, and they would be earning a considerable amount of cash to feed back in to developing their OS for RPC and A9 owners. Everyone wins, no one looses.