Well, good thing they can't make us upgrade. If you can hack the content portal to go right to google.com rather than some archos site, that would be nice (How far off are your skills from making a custom firmware, to disable the mandatory updating when using the content portal?)
I hate to underplay your abilities, but is it just you on this? Almost every major crack and resulting first code is not by 1 person. A true linux enviroment means an NES/SNES emulator as well as a real browser.
*shrug* I'm not offering a true linux environment, or a distro for the Archos. Just the ability to run arbitrary programs on the existing Archos environment. If someone can flex that into a full distro.. more power to them. So far I've put 8 hours into this, I'll probably get bored around 16 and move on to something else, once I can ssh in from remote, I'll be basically happy, however industrious people will be able to pick up where I left off.
The benefit of being able to interact with a live system should be pretty obvious for any reverse engineering efforts, or to understand how things 'really' work, it's pretty simple to see it when you can dump memory, run programs, copy things off, make snapshots of the filesystem, etc.
So, no offense taken at all, I don't offer much, but I ask for nothing in return.