So then I started looking at various handhelds and discovered the zaurus, its about equivalent to one of the PocketPCs but comes with linux preinstalled (and fully supported). But it doesn't have bluetooth or 802.11, nor can it connect to a hard disk. It does have a CF slot which could do any one of the former things. Also its native usb port can't control devices.
My first idea was to use an ipEngine its one of the components from the MIThril and does have the usb controller chip, so I could connect the zaurus to it using TCP/IP over USB and use the ipEngine to connect to hard disk. (And use the zaurus' CF slot for a network card) That would have the advantage of allowing up to slowly build something equivalent to the MIThrill.
Unfortunatly I got the price confused with another of the MIThrill components, and after seeing the actual price decided that plan was too expensive.
Not to be stopped my little problems like that, I then discovered a CompactFlash USB 1.1 host controller. Assuming the controller can be run under linux, I can then drive a USB 802.11b transceiver, bluetooth transceiver, hard disk enclosure, and CF reader. (All the components are actually supported under linux.) Heck even an external usb keyboard.
It's much more affordable than my other plan and accomplishes all of my core mission objectives--net access and mass storage of pictures off of my digital camera. I just don't know if the card would work under linux. I did see some japanese bsd list make reference to it, but couldn't tell how successful they were.
I guess the next step would be to order the CF card and stick it unto my laptop and see if I can get linux to support it.