There is a way to create a .zip that contains the resource fork, and OSX (up until 10.5 at least) will create .zips in this fashion. It basically creates a 2nd file for the resource fork and then recombobulates the two files on the extract. As I recall it creates a whole separate resource fork folder when you extract the zip on a PC, which is how to know when a zip was created on a Mac.
As for the system folder to be blessed, you can't just extract a system folder out of an archive to a disk and have it to work. You need to bless the system folder afterwards, using a tool like System Picker... or by dragging the Finder out of the System Folder then dropping it back in. Note the latter trick tends to not work if you have multiple system folders on a disk (which is why SP was created).
If you want a bootable image that you can burn to a disc and have it function, creating it on a partition, making sure it's bootable by booting off it, and then restarting into another environment and burning that partition to an HFS Standard .toast image is really the way to go. It saves creating coasters, and you can customize the OS environment.
Obviously the wrinkle is that HFS+ is only bootable back to OS8 or so, so for anything earlier you have to go with HFS Standard, which means booting into OS8 / OS9 and performing all these operations in it. I don't remember being able to create HFS volumes in 10.0 or 10.1, but I could be mistaken... it was a long time ago, and changes came quick back in the early days of OSX.
As for Toast support, HFS Standard discs could be created all the way up to Toast 10, but the functionality was removed from 11:http://www.macintoshgarden.org/forum/to ... s-standard
IOW, I really think you're going to create more headache for yourself trying to create bootable .iso images for old MacOS versions. ISO9660 support under OS9 was fairly solid but limited in what features were supported, and hybrid discs have always been a bit of a kludge.