Speaking from experience, no.
Last year, my 4-year-old first gen PS3 YLODed unexpectedly (but, frankly, when is it ever expected?) and, being financially flush at the time I just went out and bought a brand-new PS3 Slim.
I poured over various websites and forums of greater and lesser repute and discovered that yes, you could swap hard drives IF the two operating systems were the EXACT SAME version. The game shop manager, whom I (mostly) trust also seemed to indicate this was the case.
So I booted up the new PS3, updated the system files and proceed to willingly violate my warranty by swapping hard drives.
The PS3 did NOT like that. It wouldn't even boot.
So there it was. Four years of music, movies and games - gone.
Well, not completely.
I did refurbish the old PS3 with a $20 heat gun and some arctic silver and got another couple of weeks out of it before it died for good. Perhaps there was some way to transfer the game saves and preferences in that window. I guess I'll never know.