Assuming a BIOS that supports SED (Self Encrypting Drive) hard drives, and given that Windows 8 will use hardware encryption like SED if the disk has it, does BitLocker still require a TPM to avoid using USB? This regards a standalone laptop not part of a domain.
You can setup bitlocker (with SED) without TPM. But... if you dont want to use USB and if you dont want to enter preboot password then TPM is required. TPM is required to save keys that require for SED to unlock. SED must be OPAL complied to work with TPM.