Wow, this is really strange... I literally just came to geekhack to search for "ergonomic mechanical keyboards" because I wanted to know if anyone had hacked a MS ergo 4000, and the first result was this thread. Freaky.
I use a Majestouch Filco right now (with the browns... tactile, no click). I love it, beats any membrane keyboard (though I haven't tried any other mechanicals yet). However, I did at one point buy the MS 4000 and I loved certain aspects, but hated others.
I've used the MS natural (the second version, forget how many there were) and found it nice, but not amazing. Better for the hands than a normal keyboard, but when it broke I didn't really miss it. However, the 4000's key layout was amazing... it felt so natural, it really was just how my hands wanted to rest & type. However, the worst part about the keyboard was the switches... not just mushy, but hard to press as well. They used the worst membrane switches. Then the spacebar, it had no metal bar (to keep it from binding), and it was very wide and flexible, so it bound up all the time and was incredibly annoying to use. So I hated the keyboard, but going back to a normal straight layout after 2 days of use was hard. I remember thinking that if they ever fixed the switches, that would be the best keyboard I'd ever seen.
I keep seeing sales for the 4000, Newegg just had it for $25 shipped (sold out now), and every time I just keep thinking "If they just had better switches, I'd buy 2 in a heartbeat!" So how about it? Has anyone tried to take a normal keyboard and transplant mechanical switches? How about an ergonomic keyboard? Is it monetarily feasible? Digikey sells all types of Cherry key switches, and the browns (I think) are about $.96/ea in the quantities I'd need (http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=CH310-ND
). Is this as crazy as it sounds, or is there something to this?
Given a cheap supply of mechanical switches, and a lot of boredom/extra-time, this would make a neat project. If successful, it would truly be one amazing keyboard. What do you guys think?