Oh yes it does... what does the process of hibernation has to do with the boot sequence anyway?
It does, and you can. Please don't post hearsay
For one I use it since always (win millenium, 2000, XP, Vista) and it works very well.
Hibernation turns off the computer, it's 100% lights-out, just as shut down. The difference is that it writes the content of the RAM on the hyberfil.sys file (usually on c and when it boots up it reads the file, writes into RAM and you pick up where you left off.
I do it because it's dang frustrating to wait until is shuts down...30 sec, reboots...30 sec, loads win until you can actually click something...another minute. With hibernation the shutdown time is the same, only the startup tine is 20 sec or thereabouts, boot included.
Moreover, you can OC, change FSB, memory timings, voltages, remove/add disk drives (except the boot drive of course) remove/add USB stick, change CPUs as long as they are from the same family (ex. X2 with another X2).
One thing you CAN NOT DO: remove/add RAM. Since it writes the contents of the ram on the HDD, it expets on boot up to have the quantity of ram equal with the size of the hyberfile.sys file.
I believe I and many others have difficulty distinguishing between Standby and Hibernation.
I just reboot it. Takes me like 15 - 20 seconds to boot. No biggie.