Several remarks here:
I use file vault. To avoid backuping the sparseimage in addition to the decrypted data, I use this:
sudo rsync -Eavb --delete --backup-dir="/Volumes/alamb_bck/rsync_bck" --exclude="alamb.sparseimage" /Volumes/DATA/Users/alamb "/Volumes/alamb_bck"
However, since I don't want to leave an unencrypted backup on a machine somewhere on the network on on my portable drive, I create an encrypted sparse image that I mount for the destination.
I managed this mounting from a Windows SMB volume. Doing this you avoid the ressource forks issues. (since you are backuping to hfs+ and not ntfs).
There is a bug (Apple calls it a feature) which makes rsync recopy systematically ALL the resource forks of the files.
I consistently had "broken pipe" errors when I had my source volume (where my home is) as hfs+ journaled WITH case sensitivity.
Some files (other than resource forks) get systematically backed up (iPhoto photos for example). No way to tell why. Obviously it takes ages.
I never managed to have rsync run consitently with crashing on broken pipes or other issues. For me, it is not ready to prime time on MacOSX (RsyncX had the same problem).
It looks like there are fewer problems when backuping through rsh with ssh.
There must be a squeduling issue with rsync. I have a power book with 1 gig ram but when I am runing rsync I hardly can move the mouse or type a text in text edit!!
Someone on a forum suggested it was the --delete creating problems. But how should I backup correctly without --delete and without at least archiving what is deleted??
Well, I am at the point where the time I wasted trying to make all this work cost me more than a 50$ sync program such as ChronoSync, SynchronizeProX, TriBackup or YouSynchronize.
Any hint as to where I should go to now??