It's just a geeky wish that we control the devices that we've bought.
But yes... this FCC rule is about taking away control. It looks like too many people have been modding their routers to do illegal things... use foreign frequencies in the USA, changing the broadcast power above what is allowed in the USA, etc. Instead of tracking people down and charging them, which would admittedly be a fool errand, they've proposed some drastic changes to stop the problem. These changes in my opinion do more harm then good and I will be contacting them and my reps. to try and stop this from happening.
The harder solution will be one that router makers will not like... make different routers for different countries. Or more specifically- one for the USA, and one for the rest of the world. The USA ones would be hardware fixed to the max broadcast power, and allowed frequencies for the USA.
A physical switch would be fine. The USB key has some pros and cons.
Pros: another hurdle on the physical access of device, not just anyone can update it, you could use the key possibly on other devices (PC motherboard/parts, car firmware, etc.), you could make copies of it for people you trust, you could use a USB key with more security (encrypted with fingerprint lock)
Cons: more complicated, someone could steal/copy your key, you could lose your key
Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!