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10.6: Set a firmware password from the command line
Authored by: martinv2 on Sep 13, '11 05:04:00AM
For Lion (the version downloaded from AppStore):

$ sudo hdiutil attach -readonly "Install Mac OS X Lion.app"/Contents/SharedSupport/InstallESD.dmg
$ sudo hdiutil attach -readonly /Volumes/"Mac OS X Install ESD"/BaseSystem.dmg
$ sudo /Volumes/"Mac OS X Base System"/Applications/Utilities/"Firmware Password Utility.app"/Contents/Resources/setregproptool -h
setregproptool v 2.0 (9) Jun 16 2011
Copyright (C) 2001-2010 Apple Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

Usage: setregproptool [-c] [-d [-o <old password>]] [[-m <mode> -p <password>] -o <old password>]

    -c              Check whether password is enabled. 
                            Sets return status of 0 if set, 1 otherwise.
    -d              Delete current password/mode.
                            Requires current password on some machines.
    -p              Set password.
                            Requires current password on some machines.
    -m              Set security mode.
                            Requires current password on some machines.
                            Mode can be either "full" or "command".
                            Full mode requires entry of the password on
                            every boot, command mode only requires entry
                            of the password if the boot picker is invoked
                            to select a different boot device.

                    When enabling the Firmware Password for the first
                    time, both the password and mode must be provided.
                    Once the firmware password has been enabled, providing
                    the mode or password alone will change that parameter
                    only.

    -o              Old password.
                            Only required on certain machines to disable
                            or change password or mode. Optional, if not
                            provided the tool will prompt for the password.
$
P.S.: I've been lurking on Mac OS X Hints for a while now, and I must say, this is incredibly useful - thanks, guys!

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