Well after some real world experience, I've decided to go back to my original idea. A flipout keyboard in the armest.

The dreamgear is not bad, but kind of small and awkard, especially for someone who spends so much time in bash.

The Travaler is just too small for most of my uses. I still probably would have kept it if the linear actuator project worked better, but as it stood, it came out too close to the shifter.

This keyboard is a Ortek MCK-91 which I've had for years hooked up to one of my servers. Froogle wasn't helpful, but looking at thier site
Ortek kb products, looks like they still make them.

It happens to be almost exactly the same size of the armrest.

Here's how it should layout for the best fit ergonomically in the car (or my car anyway )

Some pics of the keyboard/armrest in various stages of disassembly.

The hardest part is going to be the pivoting hinge, but if I can pull it off, I think it will be by far the best solution for my setup.