You don't need successful unit tests to safely save a work in progress. Auto-save features (ala Word), do a fine job of preserving progress while still allowing you to revert if you feel that's appropriate.
Visual Studio 2005 has this feature, and it's helped me out once or twice. Unlike Word, you don't notice it until you need it because saving a source file is trivial compared to saving a word file.
Your other ideas are still great, but your creating an unnecessary dependency upon unit tests to solve the save problem.
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