Thanks for asking for an update!
We had contacted VIA (the hub chipset in this and most USB 3.0 hubs on the market right now) , to try to understand why only Macs had this issue (not Windows and Linux) and if it could be fixed or worked around at the VIA firmware level.
We’ve been assuming it’s a conflict over proper power management behavior, where Windows and Linux are more tolerant.
Sometimes that kind of thing can be worked around, sometimes not. Without having any info from Apple, it was difficult to be sure.
The problem with drives disconnecting returning from sleep is mostly when connecting through USB 3.0 hubs, but can also happen in many random cases without a hub. Here’s a good active thread with lots of detail and workarounds:
Our understanding from VIA is a workaround in firmware may be possible for at least some portion of the problem, but they haven’t been able to deliver it yet for the VL811. Also, historically their firmware update utility runs on Windows only – so it may logistically be a pain for Mac users even when it’s out.
VIA hasn’t had any publicly available firmware updates for the VL811 until this week - but there’s now one released Oct 29th (version 0972):
This one appears to have a problem where we can’t recommend it, but we’re hoping this will be the start of a series of updates that may work around or fix this Mac issue.
We’re testing each one on our USB 3.0 Macbook here, and will post here if / when there’s a workaround from the VIA side.
The workaround or fix may also come from the Apple side. 10.8.2 still has the same issue, but there are a lot of people holding out for 10.8.3 in the Apple support forums.
Hope this update helps! We’re very actively watching all the pieces here, so we can communicate a fix as soon as it’s proven.