I'm looking for a solution for easy cloning and updating posts from local machine to live site, so my suggestion would be to have one "clone/update options" page, where administrator can select what to clone to another site/db.
db-host, user, pass, etc...
clone now button (or cron option for hourly, daily cloning)
the main reason is that I work with allot of plugins while processing posts (this slows down my live site). it also a pita to correct/revise them online etc...
But when posts are processed and are ready on a local machine, I would just clone only POSTS (with exactly the same permalinks) to the live WP-site with zero plugins installed.
(this way live site would be much faster and would be also more secured,etc etc…)