The difference is that we would like to request the ability to set the scope of where the content is being drawn from in the search (e.g. This Site, Everything, etc.), and that this be configurable from the portal-ext.properties for all Search Portlets. In other words, it would be nice to have the ability to set all search portlets to have the "This Site" or "Everything" scope set by default.
The drawback of the current method is that these changes need to be made on a per page basis within the GUI of the portlet itself (i.e. the dropdown buttons). This method is not always user-friendly, especially for those who embed the search portlet in the header of pages.