this is a major problem for nukemod too, since many of my ships were made in the pre-normal-map era and i tend to use a lot of uv mirroring. so normal mapping old ships usually comes with a remodel. a way around this is by using a second uv mapping channel. you would need to use something like max automatically reorganize your uv space into a second mapping channel then you can mirror the **** out of everything in the first chanel, and in the second have every polygon get a dedicated set of space. then somehow use channel 1 for some textures and channel 2 for others, ect. its a big can of worms to open, would require a materials system, many pof upgrades, and some more render code.
i would gladly sacrifice a few goats for this, maybe even a virgin or two.