The problem is that you are asking questions that have no real answer. "Is it further to New York, or by bus" is the zen-type question that comes to mind.
Originally Posted by chalx
The simple answer is yes, if all of the apps for the device were written inc compiled C, they would be faster. But they would not be WebOS apps. Much of what makes WebOS what it is at a different level. In short, your question is irrelevant, because the developers cannot simply "rewrite" WebOS to use "native" code. It would be akin to asking if a web page would run faster if it were all programmed in C instead of HTML.
FWIW, I've been around long enough to remember similar arguments between those that wrote assembly code, and those that took the faster, easier route, and wrote in compiled languages. The assmebly code was faster, smaller, cleaner code. It was also harder to write, harder to debug, and thus longer to develop programs. Plus, they were invariably "that platform only" programs, and had to be rewritten from scratch for any other OS. C programs were more portable, but produced bigger programs, and often sloppier code.
WebOS is much the same. The skillsets allow more programmers to produce code much faster. Yes, it comes with a cost. It also comes with many advantages. There is always a trade-offs.