Paul,Thanks for letting me know about Multistrap. I just glanced over that keyword once without much thought. I have tired "just about everything" without much success so far. I tried compiling the openwrt-xburst Git repo so I could get the toolchain, but I wasn't having much luck. After going through menuconfig, make just doesn't seem to want to build properly at the end. Of course I can't use Qi-kernel (not OpenWRT's kernel) without a toolchain I know is going to work. I'm uncertain what to do there cause I'm too dumb. :)
As much as I like the idea of EmDebian, they also remove the manpages, which I use a lot. I could make do with Busybox, but I also like the full-fledged GNU utilities. Sue me.
So with Multistrap, it seems to function differently. It sounds like it could it be possible to automate creation of a kernel uImage that can be programmed into the NAND, and to make a root file-system for UBIFS, or just a Tarbell... I'm content with using an SD card for my rootfs though, although I wish I could figure out how to get U-boot to automatically boot from the SD card only without holding down "M", and just mount the remaining 3rd partition on the MTD device as some sort of.... I dunno, temporary FS. Not a RamFS or Loop device because that would work terribly....
I missed the Ben Nanonote VM E-Mail. I shamefully deleted it. I was thinking it would have been really great if I had set up a VM first to test everything out so I wouldn't have to spend so much time getting things to work on the real hardware. I think that's why I started moving to the SD card. Less hassle to set up swap, and I don't have to kill off the NAND with so many writes!