Lots of enterprise Unix sysadmins, say that ACL is much more powerful than ordinary Unix read/right control. There are cases when you need ACL, and when 888 does not cut it.
Regarding ext3, it does not really protect your data well. SMART does not help. ext3 and NTFS are equally bad (or good) in protecting your data:
"Dr. Prabhakaran found that ALL the file systems [NTFS, ext3, ReiserFS, JFS and XFS] shared
. . . ad hoc failure handling and a great deal of illogical inconsistency in failure policy . . . such inconsistency leads to substantially different detection and recovery strategies under similar fault scenarios, resulting in unpredictable and often undesirable fault-handling strategies.
. . .
We observe little tolerance to transient failures; . . . . none of the file systems can recover from partial disk failures, due to a lack of in-disk redundancy.
In a nutshell he found that the all the file systems have
. . . failure policies that are often inconsistent, sometimes buggy, and generally inadequate in their ability to recover from partial disk failures. "