For what it's worth, I own a 13 inch mid 2009 (version 5.5 for Apple Hardware Test), that did not boot anymore, but the harddisk did show, after numerous checks with fsck_hfs (Apple's version on 10.9.2): same result hardware faillure.
I then installed the harddrive in a SATA to USB converter, attached it to Ubuntu Linux 12.04, used the linux implementation of hfs (hfs+ is not a 'real' filesystem' is some sort of 'container' of which a lot remains very mysterious). After numerous attempts (extra hurdles: NO WRITE error, ownership, ...) I was able to mount the filesystem without any problem.
I then cloned the whole disk (not only the partition with OS X on it), but also the 'hidden' recovery folder and EFI etc... to a brand new Toshiba (without Apple logo). Guess what: It was broken (hardware faillure) :-) Does not make any sense at all but anyway.
Then I repeated all steps, booted from a 10.9.2 external USB drive with OSX on it, ran DiskWarrior (google that) from there, important thing here is patience. I can take up to 10 minutes before the 'broken' disk is accessible. DiskWarrior fixed my invalid CHS, B-Node, etc etc etc, after which I did a double verify and check permissions.
Then I did all of the above (without the cloning) on the original disk and all is working again as well.
I can't make anything out of it, it took ages (literally I don't know +100 hours in total?) but I was to stubborn to pay for yet another 'designed to break' issue. And in this case there wasn't even one single piece of hardware that was broken.
While doing this, I discovered some very interesting material on the 'hidden' recovery partition which is used nowadays (internet recovery), two iso files that allowed me to do really crazy things when used with the correct hardware (Apple external DVD drive) on non Apple equipment.
I'm doing further analysis of the cloned drives (I kept one of them) but with having +25 years experience in ICT, this is one of the most 'strange' things I have ever seen (as a whole)
Don't take every error message for granted, that my conclusion. Read on HFS, educate yourself, all the info is on the internet, somewhere :-)