Thinking about Cache and its 'native' objects, I wonder if when those are persisted to disk, only the data is actually saved, or any functions as well - i.e., p-Code compiled ObjectScript or Cache Basic member functions. Or perhaps even (class-query) SQL. All this code could be optimized for the given state (properties) of the object.
Then the question becomes, where is this data saved - perhaps in some raw extensions of the sparse arrays that hold the object member data.
Another interesting aspect (related to the sparse array storage system) is the kind of optimization, if any, that occurs at the SQL relational engine level. If there is optimization of any kind done at the I/O-sparse array level, this might conflict with the SQL optimization. Interesting stuff.
Which brings into question, is the optimization cottage industry a by product of the relational model? I have always found Oracle's optimization 'strategies' (the thick books dealing with that) somewhat ludicrous and antiquated. In order to do that really well, you need a deep understanding both of data and of sorting algorithms; with so many intervening layers (physical design, I/O patterns), even that understanding is corrupted. So if you can avoid a couple of grievous errors (e.g. multiple joins on non-indexed columns), you will do reasonably well. But then, the DBMS should be able to detect if you're about to make a grievous error (or perhaps the reporting tool, if you use one). So, why a thick book on optimization?