>Unfortunatly, we need a chassis we can actually buy. As far as I know, Lenovo doesn't.
Well, wouldn't it be easier to sell the system as a kit that could be used to drop into a commonly available system rather than settle for second rate crap? Lenovos are popular, widespread, and getting secondhand ones is relatively easy. You could even go for older chassis. But it fits the requirements mostly. I don't think HP, Dell or any of the other large manufacturers sell chassis separately either and unless we want a crap setup that doesn't have the quality of a company like Lenovo (which would preclude people like me, who like quality, from buying it) then we need to find a shell that fits our design choices.
I say Lenovo has the best of most worlds:
Touchpad and point stick
Legendary reliability (Since it comes from IBM!)
Widely available parts
Durable case design
The older IBM laptops are even better but then you get into other problems like shittier screen, component life etc. Do you have any better ideas?