But I really prefer to maintain the bootloader so that I can upload sketches via USB.
Is there some modification of the delay time variable that can be done to the bootloader itself?
I'm sure there is - the current delay is in there, yes? So likely it can be shortened.Someone like westfw has the knowledge of what goes into it.
/* set the waiting time for the bootloader *//* get this from the Makefile instead *//* #define MAX_TIME_COUNT (F_CPU>>4) */
mega: MCU_TARGET = atmega1280mega: CFLAGS += '-DMAX_TIME_COUNT=F_CPU>>4' '-DNUM_LED_FLASHES=0' -DBAUD_RATE=57600