Well, it seems very apparent now that the GTA IV freezing issue is more likely to be down to hardware rather than simply software fixable.
There are threads like these popping up all over the web. Sony have began replacing PS3s of those effected regardless of warranty.
OK... Well, I just got off of the phone with Sony Support on this issue...
FYI - Emailing support does nothing, YOU MUST CALL the 800 number and sit on the phone for a while.
Once I got through the near infinite question hit number sequence and was able to talk to a human, it was obvious that he had the entire GTA IV issue documented and ready.
He asked the following and in this order...
Does it freeze during online play or offline?
Does it freeze during the opening cut scene?
Do my other games movies experience any of these issues?
What's the Serial and Model Number?
What's the mfr date (Nov 2006 for me)
Once these answers are done, he read an "Official" apology from Sony for the issue.
Then he asked if I by chance still had my reciept! Nope...
He then stated that "For a limited and one time only act of good will" they would replace my PS3 free of charge... Yada Yada Yada...
Said they would send me a package to return the PS3, and that it would take from 10 to 14 business day's from the date they recieve my PS3 for me to get my replacement, which would have a 90 day warranty on it.
So... Hardware Issue... Yes
Exposed only by GTA IV... Probably
Existed at manufacturing time... Yes
Will Sony Replace... Yes, but you have to call them with the issue... Email won't work, and they certainly will not call you.