Mod chip or swap?

The way it seems to me, swap tricks look like they would be damaging to your system. Is it? and also, i am assuming there is no way to make self-booting backups for saturn?
Swapping does not damage your Saturn, I'm not going to get into why it won't, but it won't. Feel free to swap, I've been doing on my saturn for years now.
It may damage your sanity, however

It should be noted that once in a while, my Saturn doesn't spin up to the proper speed again after checking the security tag on Original games (yes, there is such a thing, imagine that).

It's only happened once or twice, but it's worth noting.
<table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr bgcolor="#333333"><td><font color="#FFFFFF">Quote (<font color="#FFFFFF">catgoat1792</font> @ April 25 2002, 1:46 PM)</font></td></tr><tr bgcolor="#666666"><td><font color="#EEEEEE" size=2>Mod chip or swap?</font></td></tr></table>

If you can get it and have it installed, then mod chip, else swap.