1. Some of us actually like to risk lead poisoning by solder.
Seriously, many of us solder here and it is pretty easy to attach the headers. It isn't that much of a problem, at least for me.
2. I think the 2nd port needs the hardware/connector installed. Somewhere in the articles is mention of a hardware hack for doing this, iirc.
3. USB port is fine. Never used the pci express. There is a stock kernel that we have source for which can be recompiled to fit needs. It is a bit dated at 2.6.16, but it is pretty fast. Also many of us run a kernel from vanilla 2.6.25+, and while it is slower for network transfer rates, it is easier to work with in terms of needing no patches and being current.
4. It has 256MB of flash - you can put an entire distro in it... and then some...
LS1 (foonas, nfs, Tranmission
print server, Firefly
for my Roku
Various LS-Pros v1,v2 (unbricked w/ serial & jtag)
KuroPro, LS2 & KuroHG (foonas)
Working on davysweather.dyndns.org
lately... => wooohooo!
Unknown command 'wooohooo!' - try 'help'