I re read your question and I realise I didn't really come close to addressing it.
For server to server, there is no way to explicitly make Openfire connect to another server. It has to be able to do a DNS SRV lookup for the domain of a non local JID. THen it initiates S2S over port 5279 or something similar (not got docs on hand)
You'd have to modify the code of the component listener I'd think to get that type of functionality. I'd think you'd want to keep the shared secret key or some other type to auth going as components have a lot of free reign insde the server.
This is indeed something I am looking at. I liked OF because it's extreemly well documented and I needed to hack it internally as well as make external components, the lack of out of the box clustering will only be a problem later on down the track but it will be a problem. I'll bookmark this discussion and add anything I find